There are a number of innocuous items which have affected my judgment on the involvement of Christopher Busch in the OCCK murders. Among them are a series of unrelated facts which I will discuss before reviewing my other conclusions. These four items include (a) the statement of Richard Thompson that Busch was the leading suspect, (b) the four reports that the guilty party was the son of an automobile or GM executive, (c) the Task Force identification of Busch and his companions to the family of Kristine Michelich on October 19, 2009 and (d) the October 5, 2009 report that Jessica Cooper did not want to be kept current of this case.
The report that Richard Thompson thought Busch was the leading suspect demands clarification (Chapter 49). Thompson was the Chief Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor in 1977 who attended the Busch examination in Flint on January 28, 1977 and was later elected Prosecutor. Perhaps no one has better knowledge of this case.
Christopher Busch was the son of H. Lee Busch, a General Motors Vice President. Reports from four unrelated persons stated that the suspect in the OCCK case was the son of a prominent automobile or GM executive are not coincidental (Chapter 45). Based on the documents I have reviewed no one has talked to these individuals. If four people contacted the King family or the media did other persons provide similar information to law enforcement? If anyone else has received similar information, please bring it to my attention.
On October 19, 2009 MSP Sergeant Gary Gray, the leader of the revitalized Task Force, advised the family of Kristine Michelich that Busch and his companions were the leading suspects. On October 27, 2009 the Task Force did not answer any of the questions from the King family. See Chapters 33 to 35. Why couldn’t the Task Force tell the King family the same information it gave to the Michelich family eight days previously? Shortly thereafter Gray was replaced as the Task Force leader and Oakland County took control of the case.
At her first meeting with the Task Force on February 20, 2009 Jessica Cooper advised the investigating officers they could count on the full support of her office (Chapter 53). You can imagine my surprise when I later learned that as of October 5, 2009 Cooper did not want to be kept advised of the OCCK case (Chapter 53). What happened between these two dates to cause Cooper to change her mind?
Is the King family entitled to ask someone to explain the accuracy and the applicability of these observations?
Footnote: you can access this blog at “afathersstory-occk.com’. You can access specific Chapters by adding “/chapter-xx”.
Based on my Story I have concluded that Christopher Busch was involved in the OCCK murders. Until Oakland County will answer our questions, the King family will always believe the Oakland County Prosecutor provided results favorable to the father of the murderer rather than to the families of the victims. Paul Walton told us on June 25, 2012 that the Oakland County Prosecutor had no evidence exonerating Busch (Chapter 63). When they completed and filed the search warrant affidavit on October 28, 2008 the Oakland County Prosecutor, the Wayne County Prosecutor and the Michigan State Police all thought Busch was the best lead they had reviewed to that date.
Except for the murder of 6 million Jews by the German government, I cannot envision a more hideous death than that imposed on Tim. My children remember my warnings to Tim not to enter a stranger’s car. Once he was in the car, either forcibly or voluntarily, this eleven year old boy knew what was coming. He had no ability to protect himself from sexual abuse or the hands that suffocated him. Marion, Cathy, Chris, Mark and I have lived with these thoughts since 1977.
In addition to my conclusions of what I have told you to date, from time to time I will list the questions I would like answered. Please be patient with me as I summarize my conclusions and list my unanswered questions.
Mike Goetz, the Republican candidate for Oakland County Prosecutor, has told the King family he will provide answers to us.
Footnote: You can access this blog at “afathersstory-occk.com” You can access specific Chapters by adding “/chapter-xx”
Chapter 49: Richard Thompson
Richard Thompson was the Chief Assistant Prosecutor in Oakland County in 1977 and succeeded L. Brooks Patterson as Prosecutor. He drove to Flint in a snowstorm to attend the polygraph examination of Christopher Busch on January 28, 1977. Thompson attended the examination to determine if Busch was involved in the murder of Mark Stebbins, the first victim. On February 22, 1977 the Sunday News published an article stating that Busch was not involved in the Stebbins case because he had passed the lie detector test.
In early 2011 a member of the Birmingham Senior Men’s Club asked me if I would like to meet Thompson and I attended a function in his neighborhood. When introduced Thompson associated my case to a blue Gremlin. While we could not talk that night I contacted him later and mailed him a letter on June 20, 2011 requesting a meeting and providing him with some file material. Thompson stated that he did not remember much about this case. Although Thompson originally agreed to meet with me I received no further information to meet and discuss my original or subsequent letters. Since Thompson was from Oakland County this should not have been a surprise.
Among the papers I mailed Thompson was a handwritten police report dated January 28. 1977 of a Busch interview stating “Officers advised him Greg Greene told these officers that he, Busch, had killed Stebbins”. If you were examining the Stebbins case would you follow up on this lead?
The documents also included an undated email from MSP Sergeant Garry Gray to MSP Lieutenant Darryl Hill stating “…and Dick Thompson from the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office believed these two men were involved in the child murders.”
As both the Chief Assistant Prosecutor and then Prosecutor Thompson was responsible for managing the OCCK case for more than a decade. If you were responsible for solving the most heinous unsolved crime in Michigan would you remember what you did? Is this another instance where the Oakland County officials have conspired to cover up for 40 years the status of these murders for reasons unknown to the victims and the public?
In the first letter I have received from Jessica Cooper is dated November 13, 2009 following the one and only meeting with the Oakland County Task Force on October 27, 2009. In this letter she states as follows:
“In addition, the publicizing of some information, such as that related to polygraphs is actually a crime.”
On November 13, 2009, I had no information that Ted Lamborgine, Christopher Busch or Vince Gunnels had been polygraphed. Therefore, I assumed that the quotation was related to the polygraph that Lawrence Wasser/Christopher Busch which was discussed in Chapter 21. It is my understanding that Wasser never commenced the Busch polygraph. I did not understand why any reference to their conversation was a crime under the polygraph statute. If any prosecutor or criminal lawyer reviewing this chapter has legal authority to the contrary, I would appreciate having this brought to my attention.
Imagine my surprise when I received the Michigan State Police reports on December 15, 2010. The report contained newspaper articles which L Brooks Patterson, then the Oakland County Prosecutor, was quoted as saying that Chris Busch was not a suspect in the Mark Stebbins murder because he had passed a polygraph test. The MSP reports also indicated that Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Richard Thompson, was present at Busch’s polygraph presumably to determine if Gregory Greene and/or Busch were involved in the murder of Mark Stebbins, the first victim.
On November 13, 2009 was Cooper warning me that any reference to the Wasser/ Busch polygraph, which was never taken, was a crime while the statute provides some exemption to prosecutors? Am I entitled to an explanation from Jessica Cooper why her office is entitled to publicize polygraph information while I or any other victim is not?
In reading my Story, please remember that the government did not provide me with any documents until I received the Michigan State Police reports on December 15, 2010. It was more than 9 months after the March 1, 2010 phone call telling me Christopher Busch and his companions were no longer suspects. It was only after December 15, 2010 that I determined the identification of the blue Gremlin as being incorrect.
It was not until April 1, 2013 when I was finally granted access to the 48th District Court Files that I obtained the information of the abuses by the Oakland County Prosecutor of the Michigan Search Warrant Statute to prohibit my access to this file. In obtaining the Suppression Orders, the Oakland County Prosecutor (a) ignored the statutory provision indicating that the statute was not applicable to FOIA cases, (b) obtained the orders without any supporting testimony or facts, and (c) submitted to the Oakland County Circuit Court two true copies of orders dated April 29, 2011 which were not identical.
Do you agree with the King family that the officials owe me an explanation on the blue Gremlin and search warrant questions?
My Story then discusses the 5 identified suspects in Tim’s murder and most of this background information provided to me after the Michigan State Police Reports were delivered.
The rest of my Story will discuss various subjects that came to the attention of the King family after December 15, 2010. In reviewing these future subjects, please remember that Jessica Cooper told me on March 1, 2010 that the suspects identified by my children were no longer suspects. Thus far we have reviewed no evidence exonerating these suspects. Did she make this determination based on her dictatorial powers as a prosecutor and were other Oakland County personnel also involved in this decision?
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.
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.
Over the 30 year period from 1977 to 2007, it was customary for the local television stations to review the Oakland County Child Killer case every five years. In late 2006, my children, Cathy and Chris, expressed an interest in joining in the 2007 programs. I advised them that I had no objection but that I would advise the revitalized Task Force of their intentions.
In late 2006, I called Michigan State Police Sergeant Garry Gray and advised him of this suggestion. In his response, Gray indicated he would like to meet with me concerning a new development in this case. I advised him that I could come in any afternoon next week. Twenty minutes later he called and asked if I could come in immediately and I met with him at the Oak Park station. During the conference we made arrangements to meet with my family and the Task Force the next week. I then visited the Oak Park Station with my son Chris and our friend Don Studt, now the Chief of Police in Birmingham. The Task Force was represented by Gray, his assistant Officer Robertson and Cory Williams, the Livonia Police Officer working with Gray regarding pedophile rings on Cass Avenue and in the Wayne and Oakland County. They advised me that the Task Force was following a lead on Ted Lamborgine, a long time participant in the Detroit Cass Avenue and the Oakland County child pedophile cases. The Task Force believed that Lamborgine was a possible lead to the identity of the Oakland County Child Killer.
When Chris Bush was arrested on the Genesee County charges in Alma MI, on January 28, 1977 and after waving his Miranda rights, Busch made statements to the arresting officers. He admitted that he was a homosexual and liked young boys who tend to be 10-15 years old. Partial results of this interview are summarized in paragraph 3-S of the search warrant affidavit in Chapter 8( Exhibit A) which reads as follows.
“Busch told detectives that he and Greene had discussed and planned how they would kidnap, hold and molest young boys. Busch stated that he and Greene agreed that one would work days and the other nights, so that one of them would always be with the kidnapped child. Busch further described 3 locations where he picked up young boys in the past. These locations are as follows:
• 9 Mile and Woodward are in Ferndale;
• In Royal Oak near 13 Mile Rd and Woodward;
• In the area of 12 Mile and Greenfield Rd, more specifically, Hartfield’s Bowling Alley and the 7-11 party store located directly across the street.
Doan reported that he asked Busch what they intended to do with the child after they were through with him. Doan wrote in his report that Busch could not answer. “
The above locations are where Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson and Kristine Mihelich were abducted. My judgment is that this location is not coincidental.
In 1976 and 1977 were these locations identified by any other child victims or pedophile suspects?