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The Great Michigan Mysteries Series-
The O. C. C. K. Case:
“The Abnormal Suspects”
“This is a mystery. Unlike a movie, or a work of fiction. We cannot wrap this tragedy into a bow at the end…the killer has never been brought to justice.”
Perhaps he has died, by suicide…Christopher Brian Busch
On November 20, 1978, Officer McNamee of the Bloomfield Township Police Department went to 3310 Morningview Terrace to check on the welfare of Christopher Busch. Christeen Bracken, (the maid), had become concerned when she was unable to gain access to the house that Christopher shared with his parents who were away in England at the time. She went next door to a neighbor, who called Charles, (Christopher’s brother), who called the Bloomfield Township Police Department. The officers made entry into the home, where they found the body of Christopher Busch lying on his back in his bed, and in his bedroom. He had a bullet in his forehead, and a rifle was lying next to his body. It was later determined that the deceased had committed suicide.
Christopher Busch was not unknown to law enforcement. He was a serial pedophile, at the age of 27, having been convicted of sexual crimes with minors multiple times. Not only was Chris known to the police, he was also a suspect in the O. C. C. K. case. His fellow associate and pedophile, Gregory Greene had told police that Busch had killed Mark Stebbins.
On January 25, 1977, Flint PD contacted Southfield Police Office Lourn Doan, (a member of the O. C. C. K. task force), and advised him that a subject they had arrested for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a minor had information about the person who killed Mark Stebbins. This led Doan to an interview with Gregory Greene. Greene told Doan that he believed a man named Christopher Busch had murdered Mark. Doan noted in his report that both Greene and Busch were sexually involved with young boys, (Southfield PD report 76-3079).
Following up on this tip, on January 28, 1977, Detective’s Doan, Cattell, (from Ferndale), and Flint officers Waldron and Rivard interviewed Busch. Greene, Busch, and Douglas Bennett, (19 at the time), were all under arrest. He admitted to being a pedophile, and liking young boys. During this interview, 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 would work 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. The locations were as follows: 1) 9 Mile and Woodward in Ferndale; 2) 13 Mile and Woodward in Royal Oak; and 3) 12 Mile and Greenfield road in Berkeley, (more specifically, Hartfield’s Bowling Alley and the 7-11 party store located directly across the street.
At the time of the interview, (7 days after Kristine Mihelich’s body was found), Timothy King had not yet been abducted.
It is of interest to note, that the three locations mentioned by Christoper Busch in his interview, also correspond, in exact order, with the first three abduction sites of the known O. C. C. K. victims, ( Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson, and Kristine Mihelich, respectively). In the last instance, Busch mentioned two places directly, ( Hartfield’s Bowling Alley, and the 7-11 across the street), which were the last sighting locations of Kristine.
Both Greene and Busch were given a bond of $75,000.00. Greene’s bond remained that high, and he was later sentenced to life in prison. Unbelievably, though, Busch’s bond got reduced to a measly $1,000.00. He was later sentenced to 5 year’s probation, and $2,400 in court costs. Despite two previous convictions, Busch was given no jail time.
Less than two months later, someone abducted Timothy King on March 16th, 1977, and his body was found 6 days later. He was last seen talking to a man roughly matching Chris Busch description, by a blue AMC Gremlin, with a white stripe. Christopher Busch drove a blue Vega hatchback, with a white stripe.
The scene of Christopher Busch suicide was gruesome, but also telling in the clues that were seemingly staged about. Just as his interview had described the exact modus operandi that the O. C. C. K. used, as well as the locations, (detailed precisely and in order), of the known abductions connected to the case, so the site of his death also appeared to spell out an admission.
The screaming boy. On the wall of his bedroom was a sketch of a boy with a hood on, caught in the middle of a horrifying scream. It looked eerily like Mark Stebbins.
Ropes that looked stained with blood on the floor.
Shotgun shells, such as that used on Jill Robinson on the dresser.
Charles Busch, Chris’ brother stated that at the time of his death, Chris parents had a white Welsh Terrier. This is of interest because all the bodies were found with white animal hair on them. He also had a light tanned dog, and a color of carpet in his room that was consistent with fibers found on some of the bodies.
In the end, the suicide itself is telling. A young man of privilege. a serial pedophile. A man who had talked about suicide days before with a friend, (even showing marks on his wrist and laughing it off), and having walked away from jail time, supposedly taking his own life. Was this guilt or a setup?
In fairness, Busch had four more cases looming over his head, when he took his own life.
Either way, the killing’s stopped. The killer was gone from Oakland County. The boogeyman babysitter killer had in some way moved on or was in repose.
Perhaps he has died, by murder… A letter from Allen
On April 5th, 1977, Dr. Bruce L. Danto received a letter dated April 4th, (mailed from Detroit), by a person identified only as “Allen”. Dr. Danto, a Detroit psychiatrist, had been working with the O. C. C. K. task force. He had also come to believe that the killer was trying to communicate with him since one of the bodies, (that of Kristine Mihelich), was found on Bruce lane.
The letter was a long, misspelled, incoherent, guilt-ridden, and fearful plea to the Doctor from someone who confessed to being an accomplice and roommate to the Oakland County Child Killer.
In it, Allen referred to the killer as ‘Frank’, and offered details of his life, his whereabouts, his occupation, his conveyance, motives, and the nature of their relationship. He also states that Frank is not his real name, but just the name Allen chose to use in the letter.
Frank and Allen had a slave and master relationship, in which Allen was completely controlled by Frank. He was regularly beaten and whipped, and completely owned by Frank. The two had served together in Vietnam, and were both ‘screwed’ in the head, as a result of the traumatic experience. Frank had killed ‘lots of kids’ and got medals for it. He had completely burned them, and bombed them with napalm. Then oddly, Allen says it was really beautiful there.
Allen describes Frank as a lover of children, and not a monster. He claims that Frank committed the murders to get back at people in the wealthier cities like Birmingham, so that they could suffer like Frank and Allen and others suffered for their country, and got nothing back for their sacrifice. He adds that Frank especially liked Kristine, the ‘little girl for 3 weeks’, as he described her.
Allen stated that he and Frank lived in an apartment in Detroit, with pimps, hookers, and a seedy element in the same building. He says the cops never stop them there, but he is always afraid the police will come to their door. He claims that Frank brings the children in a ‘stuffed clothes hamper’ and no one knows the difference.
Throughout the confessional Allen continually insists that he is just as guilty as Frank, and for several reasons. He claims that he was with Frank when they searched for boys, but was never with Frank when he abducted the ones he murdered. He says that he watches over the victims while Frank is at work, (at his delivery job, with a route in Birmingham and Oakland County), and he helps Frank stay undetected. Allen says he is the only person alive who knows that Frank is the killer.
Allen said that police were right about the AMC Gremlin automobile, but that Frank had never been stopped by police, and has since discarded the vehicle, in Ohio, where it would never be found.
Allen is in a profound state of pathos throughout the letter, referring to suicide several times, and describing himself as a ‘piece of garbage’ that doesn’t deserve to live. He says that he had no idea that Frank would murder the children, and that he had become ‘trapped’, or caught up in the crimes, and never intended any of this to happen. He claims he just wants it all to stop. Allen says he is afraid of many things; Frank, the police, more murders, jail, and death. He is absolutely tormented.
He concludes the letter by asking the Doctor for help over and over, and states that if Danto wants to help, he should use a code in the Detroit Free Press. The code was for the Doctor to place the message, “Weather Bureau say Trees bloom in 3 weeks” in the paper. This would alert Allen that Danto could be trusted and would help. But then he still adds, ‘maybe will kill myself first, must get out of this some way. Please help me. I signed Allen.’
What followed next was a phone call to Dr. Danto by Allen on April 10, 1977. Allen arranged to meet with Danto the following evening at 9 pm, at the “Pony Cart Bar” in Palmer Woods. He claimed he would bring Polaroid evidence of the crimes, if Danto could provide a letter of immunity from prosecution for Allen, signed by then Governor of Michigan, Milliken.
Allen was never heard from again. The police had taken this particular lead various seriously, spending months on it, giving it a priority above the thousands of others.
Perhaps Frank murdered Allen. It is a mystery what happened to ‘Allen’, and whether anything he said was true. Dr. Danto certainly believed him, saying ‘the man sounded very frightened, not cool and composed’, also stating that he did not believe it was a hoax call.
Perhaps he has died by natural causes…Gregory Greene
Gregory Woodard Greene was born in Detroit on 5-2-1950, and died on 12-29-1995 at the Thumb Regional Correctional Center. The cause of death was that of a heart attack. He had been watching television at the time of his death.
On 08-08-1974, authorities convicted Greene of Felony Child Molesting, Sodomy, Sex Perversion in California, and given 5 years probation. This was not his first time having been in trouble with the law. Before this, he had been in trouble for various other offenses. He was a patient at the Patton State Hospital in Patton, California, from January 24, 1975 to January 7, 1976. He arrived back in Michigan just days before Mark Stebbins abduction.
On January 25, 1977, Flint police arrested Gregory Woodard Greene, Christopher Busch, and Douglas Bennett, (the youngest of the three men), on allegations of forcing boys to commit sexual acts. This investigation would later expand to include scores of young victims, (as many as 75 boys). They accused the men of using gifts, threats, and physical force to persuade more than 30 boys to engage in sodomy, oral sex, and lewd photography sessions. Busch and Greene were both given a $75,000 bond, whereas Bennett was held on a $15,000 bond. Greene would go on to convictions of multiple 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct charges in 1977. Sentenced to life in prison, Greene died after serving 18 years of his sentence.
After his initial arrest for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor in August of 1976, Greene had pointed the finger at Christopher Busch as the killer of Mark Stebbins.
According to Busch, in his interview of January 28, 1977, he and Greene had a plan to kidnap young boys. As discussed earlier, they would both get jobs with different shifts, (one working during the day, and one at night), so that they could always have one of them watching over the victims. Greene was in custody at the time of the last abduction, (Timothy King), but he could have participated in the first 3 known abductions, and others that were not counted as O. C. C. K. victims, officially. He was a sick man, and his records describe him as a manipulator, and a person who was intelligent enough to read his situation and the people around him well, and use this to his advantage. At the time of his arrest, he claimed to have a religious awakening, and that, according to him, was why he turned in Busch, and was cooperating. Of course, all he wanted was one more chance to live outside of an institution. The report recommended incarceration.
Greene said that he didn’t just pick up kids, but that he formed an emotional bond with them. This is why he said, that he could successfully be rehabilitated through a half way house or some other means, that would not allow him close contact with children. The court disagreed, and rightly so. Although he had discussed the infamous “Babysitter Killer” case with one of his cell mates, this information, and the details were never published. He took his secrets to the grave with him.
It has been forty years since the first abduction in this case. The world of crime fighting has seen great advances in forensic technology, which has brought to light many answers to cold cases all over the world. This case is no exception. In our next article, we will discuss some of the locations and circumstances that have become synonymous with this infamous case, as well as the DNA and other physical evidence. This we will do, in our 3rd and final installment on the O. C. C. K. case, in the Great Michigan Mysteries series. For The Cy-Times Gazette, this is Julius C. Madhouse.
“Great Michigan Mystery Series”
“The Oakland County Child Killer Case”
J. C. Madhouse
During a 13 month period that began in February of 1976 and continued until March of 1977, a serial killer was actively abducting and murdering children in Oakland County, Michigan. In an effort to apprehend the unknown suspect, (or suspects), the authorities launched the largest investigation ever in the United States up until that time. A task force formed, with a budget of over $2 million dollars. After thousands of leads, and countless man hours, the task force disbanded in 1978.
Although there were several strong suspects in the case, no one has ever been charged. The story remains one of the greatest Michigan mysteries of our time.
The murderer first became known as the ‘Babysitter Killer’, because of the amount of time that he would keep his victims, and the care with which they were given. The killer cleaned and pressed the victims clothes. He, (or they), manicured the victims.. Later, the case became known as the OCCK case. This was an acronym for the Oakland County Child Killer. Although there were many victims in the area at the time that could be included in this article, we will confine ourselves to the confirmed victims of the malevolent and disturbed, O. C. C. K. case.
On February 15, 1976, 12-year-old Mark Stebbins, (a 7th grader at Lincoln Junior High School), was playing a game of pool at the American Legion Hall in Ferndale with his brother Mike, when he decided to walk home and watch a movie. His mother Ruth was also present at the hall. She said that he had wanted some money that day, which she would not give him, because he had already had his allowance. She mentioned that he didn’t seem mad, but that he said,
“I’m going to go home and watch that movie”.
That was at about 12:25 that afternoon.
He was never seen alive again. The legion hall was about ¾ of a mile from the boy’s home on E. Saratoga. The day had been a Sunday, and a full moon. The weather had been foggy with rain. Four days later his body was found in the parking lot of the Fairfax Plaza office building, at 15660 W. 10 mile, (near Greenfield), approximately 4 miles from the site of his abduction.
Mark Boedigheimer, (then age 30), of Southfield, who worked in the Fairfax Plaza office building discovered the body lying in a pile of weeds against a four-foot red brick wall that separates the parking lot from a lot belonging to the Orleans shopping center at Ten Mile and Greenfield.
The killer dumped the body that morning between 9:30 and 11:40 am, and was fully clothed. A pathologist report stated that he had been dead between 12 and 36 hours. The cause of death was asphyxiation. He died from asphyxiation. The killer struck him in the head, and it was also determined that his hands and feet had been bound.
Ferndale Police Chief Donald R. Geary said the killer strangled the boy, possibly more than a day before the body was found at 11:40 am on a Thursday. A witness had passed by the spot at about 9:30 am, and had not seen the body there at that time. The weather that day had been snowy. The killer placed Mark in a snow bank, and evidence showed that he had been bound about the wrists, sexually assaulted, and strangled. Both his neck and wrists had rope burns.
In the late afternoon hours of Wednesday, December 22nd, 1976, 12 year-old Jill Robinson left her home at 1312 Mayfield road in Royal Oak, (where she lived with her mother and 2 sisters), after arguing with her mother over making biscuits for dinner, among other things. Her mother, Karol J. Robinson, was trying to prepare dinner, and get ready for church services, having just come in from Christmas shopping. She described Jill’s attitude as, ‘I’m not going to help, and I’m not going to babysit, and I’m not going to do anything…and if you don’t like it…tough.’ Wednesday was normally the day when the father would take the children for visitation, and so, Karol said that she thought that this was also part of the reason Jill was upset that afternoon, and uncooperative. Her father had not been able to pick her up that day.
Jill had refused and her mother became upset with her attitude. Her mother, Karol, told her,
“Why don’t you, (if you don’t like it in here), go stand outside”. Jill then said something about having trouble finding her boots, and her mother said,
“Jill, what I really want from you is communication”. Her mother would later point out that what she meant was for Jill to ‘just go somewhere and cool out’ for awhile. But Jill decided to pack her denim knapsack with a blue and green plaid blanket, and two books, and took off on her bike. Her bicycle was a 20-inch high girl’s bicycle, (brand name High Speed), purple with chrome fenders, and a white banana seat. The books she took with her were “Little House on the Prairie”, (1st edition, with an inscription), and “Nancy Drew Mystery”, which she checked out of the library, but never returned. She was last seen by a family friend at about 7:30 pm, riding her bike near Tiny Tim’s Family Hobby Center, at 4400 North Woodward, Royal Oak. Jill’s father, Tom Robinson, believed that, (based on where she was last seen), that she had been on her way to his house in Birmingham. Jill was 5 feet tall, 100 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes.
The Royal Oak Tribune reported that Royal Oak police recovered the bicycle in the 1600 block of Washington, less than a mile from her home. However, Lt. Earl C. Ringer of Royal Oak, said youngsters living in the area where the bike was found told police that other neighborhood juveniles had found the bike abandoned about 2 p.m., Monday behind the Valenti & Lieberman office building at 1523 North Main, south of 12 mile and ¾ of a mile east of Jill’s home. The youngsters said several youths rode the bike before leaving it at the North Washington location. A third report has surfaced in which a witness who claims he is one of the boys who found the bike, (and was 9 at the time), found the bike propped up against a tree, between Vinsetta and Bassett. He further claims that they took the bike to 28168 Woodward ave., in Royal Oak. Each of these locations, (whichever it was), are much closer to Jill’s home, (south-east for more than a mile), from where she had last been seen on her bike.
Her body was found four days later, approximately 5 miles from the abduction site, on the northbound I-75 service drive, near Big Beaver, (16 mile road), in Troy. It was Sunday, December 26th, the day after Christmas, when a motorist driving northbound on I-75 saw what appeared to be a body lying on the side of the road at approximately 6 am. He radioed the location on his CB. Troy police, (who monitored the CB broadcast), went to investigate the scene. The motorist in question was never identified.
The day was a cold one, with a high of 31 degrees, and her body was lightly covered with snow. Unlike Stebbins, who the killer strangled, the cause of death for Jill was a blast to the side of the face from a 12-gauge shotgun. However, the 1977 broadcast on WXYZ 1270 “Winter’s Fear”, (which won a Peabody award), reported this as a 16-gauge. Police determined that she died at the scene. The killer had laid her on her back, and shot her. The shot used was that commonly used by hunters. The time of death was between 3 am, and 6 am. It had begun snowing at about that time, and the snow on the body was about as deep as the snow on the ground.
There were no signs of sexual assault and no signs of a struggle. The body and clothes were clean and well-kept, leading police to believe initially, that she had not been kept against her will. She was fully clothed and still wearing her knapsack. The books were missing.
During the year before her death, an eerie premonition haunted Jill. Her mother described her as very perceptive and very intelligent. Her mother Karol recounted that she would say,
“I am afraid of something.” She was clearly worried. “I know this is not logical”, she continued, “but I am afraid that somebody is going to come, like, if I am standing on the corner…and come around in a car and shoot me.” Taken to a child psychologist for help with this inexplicable fear, Jill’s anxiety persisted. One night in December, Karol found Jill on the verge of tears. Her mother recalls,
“I hugged her and held onto her, and we both cried.” As it turned out, Jill died in the same manner that she sensed and feared.
On January 2nd, 1977, just days after the discovery of Jill Robinson, 10 year-old 5th grader Kristine Mihelich went missing from the 7-11 store, at 12 mile & Greenfield in Berkley. Some witnesses claim she was also seen at the bowling alley across the street, where her mother had worked at one time. It was a cold, snowy day, with temperatures below freezing, (between a high of 26 and a low of 19 degrees Fahrenheit).
Her mother Deborah recalls that Kristine had talked her mother into letting her go to the store to buy a teen magazine. Kristine was in the habit of cutting out pictures from the magazines and placing them on her bedroom wall. That day she had run out of pictures and wanted to get some more.
Her mother had been reluctant to let her make the trip, because she would have to cross 12 mile road to get there. But Kristine was very persistent and her mother finally relented. Kristine said she would be right back. The magazine was apparently a “Teen Super Star” magazine that featured Donny & Marie Osmond on the cover.
Her mother said that it was just a ‘freak’ thing that she had let her go to the store that day. At first Deborah refused, but then, recalling that Kristine had done a favor for her earlier in the afternoon, decided to let her go, feeling she owed her. She explained to her how to stop at the stop light, and later said her main concern was the fact that she would have to cross 12 mile road. The clerk at the store recounted that she had seen Kristine, and that she had purchased a magazine. It was a 5 minute walk from her home on Gardner. Kristine had only $2 in her pocket at the time she bought the teen fan magazine, and her mother expected her to come straight home. Although there was the seemingly conflicting story of Kris at the bowling alley across the street, as the last sighting, the fact remains that she was gone. She had been wearing a baby blue ski jacket, over a white blouse. One news article stated that she was wearing a navy-blue parka and gray jeans when she disappeared.
19 days later, on Friday, January 21, 1977, Jerry Wozny, an 11-year postal veteran, of Walled Lake, was driving on Bruce Lane, (a dead-end), in Franklin, when he saw tracks leading about 6 feet off the road, and what he thought was a blue bundle of clothes or a blanket. He stopped to investigate. It was then that he noticed the knees, and a hand sticking out of the snow. He drove to the nearest police station to report it. Wozny described his discovery,
“I usually look on the side of roads. And I come up, and see the tracks going in, and something blue laying there. So I stopped and I backed up. And I got out of the truck and went down and looked, and I saw the knees, and a hand. That’s when I went back to the police station and got Mr. Wilson to come over and take a look.”
“I saw a hand,” Wozny said. “It scared the hell out of me.”
He said the girl was lying in a ditch on her back, fully clothed with her knees drawn up. Snow covered the body, except for the exposed hand and the tops of the knees.
The body’s location was in the same general area of where the body of Cynthia R. Cadieux, 16, was found a year before.
Police reported that snow heaped over the body was as if to cover it.
After they cleared away a little snow, Police Chief Frank Wilson said,
“It looked like a little girl.” Her arms folded across her chest.
The body was Kristine Mihelich. Cause of death was asphyxia, with no signs of blunt force or trauma. There was no signs of sexual assault. She had been well-kept, (cleaned, fed and manicured), and was fully clothed at the time of discovery. There was no evidence of puncture wounds or mutilation. She was found in the same outfit she wore at the time of her disappearance.
Footprints were found in the snow leading to the body, and back to the roadway where it appeared a car had stopped, police said. Law enforcement took impressions of foot and tire tracks; and photos of the two bumper impressions left in the snowbanks on both sides of the dirt road. It appeared that the car had backed up into the snow bank, and then forward, while turning around to leave.
An autopsy confirmed that Saturday by the examining physician reported there were ‘no signs of great force or trauma.’
The community was left stunned. The fledgling stage of a task force had begun to grow in strength and numbers. What was known at that time was that a number of children in Oakland County had died violently in the last year with very few clues, leads, or answers. There was a general sense of panic in the undertow of the consciousness at that time. Growing up in Oakland County it was something that was on the minds of parents and children, always lingering in the back of one’s thoughts.
Timothy King was 11-years old, 4 feet tall, 63 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes. He had discussed the subject of the abductions with his father Barry, his mother Marian, and his siblings, (Kathy, 17, and his two older brothers, Christopher, 16, and Mark 14), saying,
“Dad, if anybody did that to me I would run.” He was a 6th grader who liked hockey, baseball and skateboarding. He was personable and outgoing, as described by his father.
On Wednesday evening, March 16th, 1977, Tim borrowed 30 cents from his sister, (at about 8:15 pm), and headed for the Hunter-Maple pharmacy with his football and skateboard. He told his sister that he would be right back, and that he wanted to buy some candy. At about the same time, his parents were sitting down to dinner at a restaurant across the street from the pharmacy. Amy Walters, the clerk who sold Tim the candy, told police that Tim left the store about 8:30 pm through a rear-door that led to a darkened parking lot.
Tim’s parents arrived home shortly before 9 pm, and noticing that Tim wasn’t home, his mother began calling friends and neighbors to determine his whereabouts. No one had seen him after he left the pharmacy. Later that evening, the parents phoned the police around midnight to officially report that their son, Tim, was missing.
He was wearing a red nylon shirt, dark green Levi corduroy trousers and white sneakers when he disappeared.
Fear of another child abduction in the OCCK case gripped the area. These fears were fully realized the next day, on Thursday afternoon, when in a news conference, Birmingham Police Chief Jerry Tobin confirmed that officials did not believe Tim had runaway, nor had he stayed at a friend’s house.
Barry King had said in a plea to the kidnapper at this conference,
“We love him very much. Uh…wherever he is at, and whoever he is with. We want him back home.”
As Friday evening past, his father said further,
“Well, I want to say hi to Tim. Uh, we love you Tim. God bless ya’. Stay tough. Uh, if you miss the little league try outs tomorrow, Mr. Rider said you can try out next week. Say your prayers and we’re with you buddy.”
His mother also mentioned in the press conference that when Tim came home, she would have his favorite meal, which was “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, waiting for him.
Tim would never be able to try out for little league again.
On Tuesday evening, March 22nd, a motorist, Les Davis, traveling south on Gill road, in Livonia, (between 7 & 8 mile), stopped to make a U-turn, and noticed the body lying in a ditch with his little red skateboard nearby.
The death had occurred sometime between 6 & 8 pm. Tim had been sexually assaulted, and his stomach contents showed that he had his last meal, (fried chicken), about 2 hours before his death. He had been bound about the hands and feet.
Oakland County had an active serial killer on the loose.
But what were the clues? Was there any evidence that could definitively tie all the cases together? Were there any suspects seen with the victims prior to their abductions? Were there any cars seen near the drop sites, or abduction sites, that could be connected, and hopefully lead to some resolution? Indeed, could anyone be brought to justice, and would this case be handled deservedly?
What about the footprints, and the tire-prints taken? What about the photos of the bumper impressions in the snow bank? Though this case began over 40 years ago, what about DNA in the modern era? Was anything found that could be tested, and perhaps solve this mystery once and for all?
The questions abound. These killings took place, (if you agree with the confirmed victims), over a 13 month period that terrorized the community I grew up in. And during the time I was growing up, it was an issue of concern. The boogeyman had come to Oakland.
In response to this, authorities launched the largest investigation of its time. With a task force of 200, and a budget of $2 million. What did this yield?
In our next article, we will discuss the suspects in the case of the ‘Babysitter Killer’, aka, the OCCK. We will discuss why these individuals became suspects, and the evidence that ties them to the case, or the lack thereof. Because there is a plethora of suspects, we will focus only on the strongest ones. What evidence ties who to the crimes?
This is a mystery. Unlike a movie, or a work of fiction, we cannot wrap this tragedy into a bow at the end, and make it all come together in a way that is suitable for all of us. The truth is, and we will reiterate this again, the killer has never been brought to justice.
Perhaps he has died, by suicide, murder, or natural causes. We will analyze this. Maybe he’s incarcerated, or in a mental institution. Maybe he is not just one person. Most analysts and professionals would agree that killers like this don’t stop; unless law enforcement or some outside force or occurrence stops them. There have been some that ascribe to the theory that serial killers burn out over time, and lose the urge to remain active. In this case, it was a fast-paced 13 month period of time. In the case of some serial killers, they can become dormant for years before reactivating. Has this occurred in this case? Does the evidence demonstrate that the killer is still out there, or does it point to something else?
We will discuss this and more, in the following articles of the series: “The Great Michigan Mysteries”, brought to you by the CTG. For the “Cy-Times Gazette”, this is J. C. Madhouse.
I distinctly remember the first time this question ever occurred to me. I was seven years old and walking to school with my friend, when he told me that he had shocking news for me. It was late in December, and I wondered what could it be.
“Santa Claus is not real.” He said nonchalantly.
“What?” I said. I couldn’t believe my ears. He repeated it.
“That’s not true, there is too much evidence”, I said.
“Like what?” He questioned.
“Well, for one thing, he is in the parade every year, and at the mall. And also, look at the presents.”
“Parents do that”, he said again smugly.
“How do you know?” I asked.
“Because my parents told me so.”
There was a long silence for the rest of the way to school. He seemed very happy, as if he had taken something valuable from me, and he loved it when he was right. But he hadn’t taken anything from me. Maybe Santa didn’t exist in his world, but he was alive and well in mine.
Still, I was somewhat shaken by this claim of his. I didn’t show it at the time, but I did question his so-called news’ veracity. When I got home I talked to my mother about it, and she assured me that Santa was real, and that my friend and his parents were mistaken. I was happy to know this.
I asked her about what my friend had said about the mall Santa Claus’ and how they were different and had fake beards. My mother explained to me that Santa was very busy, and so he employed many helpers to assist him, and sometimes make appearances for him.
Christmas night, I heard my mother working late into the night making something. The next day, when I awoke, there was a special present for me. It was a large wooden structure, with a silk blue curtain, for putting on puppet shows. That was the event that started my love for puppets, and marionettes and all those sorts of things. The tag on it said it was from Santa, but I had heard my mother make it. Was she his helper too? Was everybody in on this? I had many questions.
It seemed there were two sides. There were the ‘bah humbuggers’ who would always doubt and discredit. Then there were the believers, who lived in the spirit of Christmas, with carols on their tongues, and truly enjoying the season of giving.
I remember thinking how my friend and I had already had a long conversation that would define the rest of our time together in one way or another. He absolutely did not believe in God either, and I simply could not understand how he could be so blind. Well, I am older now, and I know the whole truth, and my disbelieving acquaintance is a distant memory.
So, is Santa Claus real?
The historical Saint Nicholas the Wonder-worker
Saint Nicholas of Myra, was arch-bishop in the 4th century, and is known also as a Wonder-worker for the many miracles performed during his life, and after his ascension to heaven. He was also instrumental in refuting Arius presumption, who tried to spread false teachings as to the nature of Christ. On one occasion, a sailor fell overboard his ship, and prayed to Saint Nicholas for help, and was miraculously transported back to his family. This is but one instance in which he assisted seafarers, so much so, that he is known as the patron Saint of sailors. The Church commemorates Saint Nicholas on December 6th, as well as May 9th, (the transfer of his relics), and July 29th, (his nativity). He is widely popular in the Church, and around the world, and is the basis for the Santa Claus legend. He is also the patron Saint of Countries, (notably Greece and Russia), and other causes.
He was born to wealthy parents, and according to tradition, even as an infant, he used to fast from his mother’s breasts on Wednesday and Friday until the evening. He excelled in virtue, fasts, prayers, and vigils, and liked to perform many giving acts of kindness in secret, so that he would have his reward in heaven.
One story relates how there were three unfortunate daughters of a noble man. The man did not have enough for a dowry, but as the age of marriage approached for the oldest daughter, Saint Nicholas secretly supplied a bag of gold for this purpose. The daughter soon married, and as the time for the second daughter approached, again, the Saint gave secretly in largesse. Determined to discover giver’s identity, the father watched closely, when his third daughters time approached. It was then he learned it was Saint Nicholas, who, it is said, dropped a bag of gold down through the chimney and it fell into a stocking that was hung to dry.
When his parents died, Saint Nicholas gave away his inheritance to the needy. As folks immigrated to America, Santa Claus the legend began to take form. With Christmas as the time of giving, no doubt many of these Christian immigrants prayed to Saint Nicholas for safe passage across the oceans. The dutch referred to him as “Sinterklaas”, and in time the legend of Santa Claus grew in popularity as the Germans and the Nordic immigrants as well as others came to America.
At this time, sleighs were in use as transport, and thus, Santa Claus was given a sleigh, and the rest is history, with all due brevity.
But my story about Saint Nicholas doesn’t end there. I have a personal experience I would like to relate. Not only is our Metropolitan named Nicholas; but also my godfather in the Church is Nicholas, as well as some of my friends.
But long before I knew them, (when I lived in North Carolina), I was in need of an Orthodox Bible. It was actually a study bible, and I was a catechumen, and new to the Church. I wanted to learn all I could from it. Previously, I had been a protestant, so there were new books of the Bible that opened up to me to study as well. They are known as deuterocanonical.
I knew the Bible cost $40, and as usual, money was scarce. We had to save for it, and when the time came I called the Priest in Asheville, (which was about 45 minutes drive), and said I would like to procure one if they had one available. He said he did, so Anastasia and I set out to buy it. On the way, we stopped at a favorite restaurant of ours, to buy some bread as carry out. It was Frank’s Roman Pizza. To this day, I miss that bread.
Now the O.S.B., (Orthodox Study Bible), had only recently been released in full, so I was very excited. As we came out of Frank’s, we decided to go next door to the Goodwill store, and look at their wares, as is our custom to do. I love to peruse the old books, and find deals there, and so does my cousin. Well, I went straight to the books, and began looking, and do you know what I found? That’s right, a new Orthodox Study Bible. I was so happy, and I bought it immediately and called the Priest telling him my story, and he said a blessing for us both.
I had paid about $1.00 I think, if I recall correctly. As we got in the car to go home, I looked inside, and there was an unmarked card. I opened it to see a picture of Saint Nicholas, giving three bags of gold to the stockings of the 3 sisters. It also contained a $20 bill. Amazed at this, I thanked the Lord instantly, as well as Saint Nicholas.
So, the truth is Saint Nicholas exists, as well as all the Saints, and our dear Lord.
For the Cy-Times Gazette, this is Cyprian Kane, (C. N. Kane), wishing you, on behalf of my family to yours, a very merry Christmas, God’s blessings, and a happy new year. Peace be to men of goodwill.
Editor’s Note: And now, the exciting conclusion to…”A Tryst Upon The Times”.
C. N. Kane
Ad Astra per Aspera
Christmas came and went that year. It was a wonderful time, for Anastasia and I. Our first Christmas in the Church, and all its splendor. I had finally gotten a dragon for a pet, back in August, on the 23rd, and we posed him under the tree, taking many pictures of our little “Mr. Moto.” He was a green water dragon, and I had named him Moto Chinto Kane, after the Peter Lorre character in the movies, a kata I practiced named after its creator, Master Chinto, and my namesake.
Sometime after the first of the new year, I decided to take out the book, and look into its contents. Oddly, many of the pages were blank. But the first 12 pages, showed pictures of this new procedure that I would attempt. The thirteenth page had dates ranging from the 12th century, through to the year 2050. The next date in my stream of time he circled, with the initials “J. A. G.”, and it was on July 1st, 2015. That night leading into the 2nd would be a full moon with a segue into the solstice.
For the next several months my life continued on, and as the day approached there were no blackouts.
On July first, near sundown, I got on my new mountain bike, which I had gotten for my birthday, and set out for North-side field and the great unknown.
The pictures in the book were very much like the method I had used previously, but a few changes did exist. One was the fact that in the third encounter it was a full moon night, thus bringing things that were once new, into the fullness of completion, I suppose. Also, the pictured practitioner was gazing up at the moon, and not at the candle, accompanied by three cones of incense burning around the items in a triangular fashion. The moon was in the center of the sky, and so I waited until it was close to this position, and lit the candle and the cones.
I emptied my mind of all thoughts except one…the writing that was on the bottom of the last page of entries. “Ad scissuram 13th parallel.” My eyes were cast into a long-filled gaze, and I began to enter a sub-hypnotic state.
The smoke of incense filled the night sky, and began to engulf me. I felt very light, and was floating, as it were in a flight of somnambulism, toward the moon. The clouds passed over me, and I could not see for several seconds. Then, what emerged before me, was a long cylindrical tunnel, leading to the visage a shining star.
The long tunnel
(to the moon)
Drifting freely through the tunnel, I saw scenes of my life on either side. At first, they were fairly recent events, but the deeper I went, the years of my life began to play for me in reverse.
The tunnel itself was like an electric web in the cosmos, with dark matter all around, and only the glow of the web and the star at the far end to light the way. As I came closer, I could no longer see the moments of my life, by the sheer brilliance of the light that I was moving effortlessly toward.
Finally, I closed my eyes, unable to see beyond the luminescence. Then just like that, I had come through the wall of light, and was on the other side.
The 13th Parallel
( Ad scissuram 13th parallel)
I was back at North-side field, only this time, it was a wraith of sorts. Everything about me took on this dreamy quality, and the energy was pulsating throughout. Everything connected seamlessly, and I began to walk about.
Looking up on the bleachers, I saw Jag, and he was reading a book. I came up to him and he spoke first.
“Ah, so you made it I see”.
“Where are we?”
“Come now Mr. Kane. You know this ball park like the back of your own hand.”
“No,” I said. “I mean really. This place is so…”
“Yeah, cosmic.” I agreed.
“Well, it is the 13th parallel. It is bound to look odd to you, compared to where you are from.”
“And where are you from?” I asked.
“Mr. Kane, really? You didn’t come here to talk to me. Look, you have a visitor.”
I looked down the field to see a small boy approach. It was me, when I was eleven.
“Now Mr. Kane. You only have one hour, and I must caution you. You cannot reveal anything about the future in detail.”
“So, what do I talk about?”
Jag reached into his nap-sack and pulled out two baseball mitts, and a ball.
“Why not play catch, and maybe give the kid some advice.”
I walked toward Bobby, with no idea as to what to say. I threw him the mitt. He caught it.
“Nice catch,” I said. “You want to toss the ball around a bit?”
“Who are you?” He said, putting the glove on and sinking his fist into it a couple of times. “And what is this place?”
“What’s your last memory?”
“Well…I was over by the water tower, and was trying something out, and then I went through some kind of spell or something, and now I am here.”
“Looks like you and I are in the same predicament. My name is Kane. You can call me Cyprian, if you like.”
And just like that we started to toss the ball back and forth. We talked about nothing important for a little while. He said I looked like a family member, kind of like his old man.
“We’re related”, I said in a vague fashion.
“Am I going to remember any of this?” he asked.
“Yes and no. You won’t when you get back, but eventually you will.”
“You know Jag, too?” He questioned.
“Yeah, I met him when I was a kid. I like old books.”
“Me too.” he said. “So can you tell me something?”
“Maybe,” I said as I threw the ball back again.
“If I am not going to remember this stuff, for a long time, what is the point of what were doing here?”
“Well, I don’t know. But maybe I can help you with a few things.”
“Words of wisdom, perhaps. We are here together, and it had to happen for a reason. You wanted to know about time. You were upset at the ebb and flow of things. The good goes too fast, the bad goes too slow, right.”
“Well,” I said. “You shouldn’t worry about that any more. You see, many times, the most difficult moments of your life will shape you in ways that you need for the journey ahead. And at the time, it may feel like a pain, but afterwards you’ll be glad that you went through it. Do you understand?”
“Yeah, I got it.”
“Now, I want to tell you something about the Lord. Okay?”
“I am listening.”
“There will be many people who try to fool you, and tell you lies, and trick you into believing what they want you to believe. And this will cause you some pain in life. But never forget, that it wasn’t the Lord who did these things. It was corrupt men, and they will answer for it in the final judgment.”
“But remember, to never give up in your search for Him, and to always trust He is with you. Also, if you screw up a lot, try not to get too down on yourself. Just keep going. Life is beautiful. God is good.”
“Mr. Kane, the time is nearly up we have got to go.” Jag shouted from the bleachers.
“Cyprian Kane. I like your name,” the kid said.
“Cyprian is my Christian name. Before that, it was Cyprus.”
“Cool.” Bobby said. “I thought about changing my name when I grow up. “
“You never know. But when you come into the Church, they give you a new one.”
“Mr. Kane!” Jag was pointing to his pocket watch. He walked down toward us. “Go over there, young man, and I will be right with you, okay?”
“Well, nice meeting you, Cyprian.” Bobby said.
“Nice meeting you, Bobby.”
Jag led me back to my side of the field where the tunnel had begun to form and was waiting for me. I could feel it’s pull.
“Kids got some tough things ahead of him,” I said.
“Yes, well, that’s life, Mr. Kane. Fortunately, it all works out pretty good. Now you go in there, and I will see that Bobby gets back to his time and place.”
“Hey kid!” I yelled.
“What?” he yelled back.
“When you get back, veer right so you don’t hit the tree!”
“Don’t worry, Mr. Kane, I will tell him about the tree.” Jag offered.
“Okay, I guess I’m ready. Any trees I should look out for in the future.”
“Not this time.” Jag said. The smoke began to envelop me, and before I knew it I was back at the old book store.
I heard the familiar chime of the cash register, and Jag was talking to me.
“That’ll be one-quarter.” Jag said.
I looked in my pocket and that was all that I had. I gave it to him.
“Quite a ride, Jag.”
“So, they say. Do you want to see a magic trick?” he asked.
“I don’t know if I can handle any more magic at the moment.”
“No, this is a little trick…watch.”
Jag reached into a slot in the cash register and pulled out the other two coins. I noticed as he did so, that the register had many little slots, all with only 3 coins in each of them. There were many different currencies, and types.
Placing them in his hand, palm up, he instructed me, “Now notice the dates.”
I looked and they were all 1982 quarters. Then he ran his other hand over them, (palm down), and after it passed, two had changed. They were now, (in this order), 1982, 2014, 2015.
“Yes, I like that one too,” he said as he placed them in their designated slot and shut the register.
“Well, I guess I’ll see around, Jag.”
“Oh…one more thing, Mr. Kane.”
“What’s that?” I said.
“I need you to sign the ledger.”
Jag pulled out a big old volume from beneath the counter.
“Yes the ledger, everyone must sign it before they leave.”
He opened it and turned several of the pages. As he did so, I saw the dates of several entries, ranging from the 12th century leading up to the 21st. The last entry was Jeremy. “I just need you to initial here, and here and then sign here.” All three dates of my trip were there. I did as asked.
“You know Jag, I asked you once before if I would ever see you again.”
“ Tempus Omnia Revelat, Mr. Kane. Time reveals all.”
I shrugged, and gave a slight smile. Then I left the store. This time, I didn’t look back. I knew that it wouldn’t be there anymore.
For the next several days I was in a quandary as to what to do with the experience. I couldn’t really tell anybody. I was known as eccentric, but this was more of a stretch on a tale.
I wondered if I had an effect on the young child’s mind. If somehow, my words had lodged into his subconscious. My thoughts turned to some of my past works, and how the titles, and the lines could be interpreted as such. In the end, I knew that the Lord had guided me safely through everything in my life.
But I still wanted to tell the tale. Then it dawned on me. I would write it as a work of fiction, and publish it in the CTG. After a little thought, I came up with the title… “A Tryst Upon the Times.”
Well, dear friends and readers, how are you all doing out there in cyberspace and the world behind the screens? As the year begins its last lap, have you accomplished all that you had hoped for in 2015? I hope you have and that things are going well for you. If not, then remember to persevere and look and work toward better days. Everything will be there in its own time. Have you liked the first two parts of the “Tryst Upon A Time”? Well, the third part is coming soon. My main pc had to go into the shop, so if they take too long I will have to use a friend’s laptop, as the files are on USB sticks. So, we will have to see how fast and efficiently those boys work,(I am using this little tablet at present). But I wanted to give you an update, and wish you well. Shows are coming soon, and I know it has been a little while, but ‘time and unforeseen circumstances’ happen in this life. Be assured I am well. Also, I am working on my next album, writing, and some other ideas. At any rate, there it is. Thank you for visiting and believing and all the other good things. By the way, I have thought about enabling contacts on the site. I have not done this so far for the simple fact that it is another job for me to filter through the good, bad, and inappropriate posts that may in fact come. For instance, as you may surmise, things like profanity would be flagged and squelched for the sake of the rest of us. Not to mention, that if I understand things correctly, there are also pinging, and other tactics in the comment arena. So, if you have any opinions or suggestions on this issue, (as to whether we should try comments for a while or not), please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and I will respond personally if you wish, and I will seriously consider your thoughts on the issue. Until then, dear friends…take care of yourselves, and God bless.
C. N. Kane
P.S.- We do also intend on implementing a contact box on the pages so it’s easier access for all who wish to avail themselves of this feature.
July 2nd, 2014
In my travels I have witnessed many things that I oft described as curious, and mysterious happenings. The strange and unexplained had somehow become commonplace, and familiar in my life. At some point I accepted that my personal world and experience and the things that inhabited it, were somewhat different from the usual passerby. What had happened years ago, was merely one of these instances in a trove of memories and recollections. In this case, though, it was the lack of a memory that left its curious impression on my thoughts.
So, in time, the events of 1982 had been safely tucked away in my mind as decades came and went. It was 32 years later when the subject came upon me again. I had been living back in my birth city for about four years when events began to turn back the clock.
Previous to that, I had traveled in the south-east of the United States, (for several years), performing my own compositions, and playing and writing music and working in other art forms as well. I had never published any of my stories, though. The same was true of poetry. I had begun to release some of my recorded works, (at shows, to friends & family), and eventually on the world-wide web. But as for my stories and works in literature, the time had not yet come.
My reasons for keeping things private are many and are the subject of a completely different article. Suffice it to say, that I had them. Some of them were completely out of my control, (such as times of homelessness, and various other obstacles along the way). But I never shied away from the stage when there was one there for me, and I had never stopped composing or writing, or working in the other fields of art that my work had naturally branched out into.
I had always felt that I was not choosing the details of my path, but that my Creator was guiding me in His own time to live my life in a way that would grant me the substance to do things in their proper fashion, and their own seasons.
I had seen the destructive influence of fame, and had come to look upon it as something tough to deal with, and not pined for. Just as poverty is ruinous in its way. I had enjoyed times of solitude and study, and of being unknown. But I would not tarry when it was over. No more than a person can stop the coming of a new year, or the previous year in passing. I had determined to live in the stream of my existence, and had learned to accept whatever fate came upon me.
It was July 2nd, 2014, and I was exultant as Anastasia and I emerged from the office of the priest. We had been given a date for our long-awaited baptism into the Church, and relieved to finally have this transpire. The date was for the 20th of the same month, and this was the day of Elias the Prophet.
About a month before this time I had been given an old mountain bike by my mother, which I procured for the modest sum of $10, (or yard work, if I decided to labor it off instead). So, I decided to try it out on the city, and ride around like I had in the old days when I had been much smaller as a boy.
The world had changed so much in 30 years, and we were now in the 21st century, with gadgets and technology galore. Gone were the days of waiting until you got home to check your phone messages after the beep, and now I found myself always equipped with a phone that took pictures, and a more instant way to stay in touch.
I hadn’t owned a land line in years, and couldn’t remember the last time I had used a pay phone on a street corner. Most of the pay phones in the city were now inoperable, or torn away, and the ones that had remained looked like defunct relics of the past.
The city was in many ways, still the same Pontiac that it had been in my youth, except for a few changes in its appearance. The Glen-wood plaza, which at one time housed a K-mart, a Farmer Jack grocery store, and many other small shops; was now more like an abandoned strip of construction aside from the few occupants it contained. This was true in many of the structures in the city. Downtown, to me, had become separated; with one half still vibrant and one side no longer in noticeable use.
In 2012 we had started a website to put us on the virtual map as an artist, and I had stayed independent from the captains of the industries. For many years, my cousin Anastasia had managed my career; booking the gigs, and accompanying me in all the adventures that we had gone through in those rough and tumble days. Blogging had come into vogue, and people would write about their lives and subjects of interest all over the internet. I had decided to launch “The Cy-Times Gazette”, as an alternative to blogging about my life. I would write about whatever subjects I chose to, and only when the time itself permitted. It was for this budding concept, (which I called the CTG), that I had wanted to take pictures of the city and my surroundings. It was also for the sake of the web site that I liked to take pictures, never knowing if I could use them one day, or not. I still liked to have them on file. It was with this in mind that I went around the city that summer day, snapping pictures of the first place I had ever performed, the house I grew up in, and other places of note. This day also led me back to the old North-side field.
It was then that I thought of 1982, and that lost week of my youth. I thought about the old man “Jag”, and my eyes began to look to the water tower.
The ballpark was overgrown with weeds, and it looked as if it hadn’t been used in years. The dug outs were over grown with weeds, and a chain barred vehicles from entry into the parking lot.
I approached the tower, and went to the very spot I had been at so many years ago. To my surprise, there was a perfect circular area of earth where the whole had been in which no grass had grown. This was strange because the grass was all around it; except for that small spot. It appeared as a miniature crop circle.
I decided to investigate. Some things hadn’t changed for me either, like the fact that I still traveled with a backpack. After digging around in it for a moment, I found the flat head screwdriver I had been looking for. I used it to start digging, and it wasn’t long before I struck upon something other than the dirt.
I looked down into the whole, and brushed away the earth to see that my old metal box was waiting for me, as it had always been.
Quickly I grabbed it and stuffed it into my pack, and rode home excitedly, waiting until I got down in my basement dwelling to open it up.
I went down stairs, after making a French press and lifted the rusty latch to see if the contents were there. Judging by the weight, and feel from the outside, I knew something was. There they were.
I sat staring at them, as I sat on my futon; the scales, the pocket watch, the birthstone, the candle, and the sundial. The cross was still on the inside of the top of the metal box. I began to wonder if Jeremy’s method had caused this visitation; and if my work with the experiment was yet completed. So I tucked them away on a shelf safely back in the box, and did what I had learned to do in the modern era; search on the web for answers to my queries.
I began by looking up the old man and the store, but found nothing of it. Likewise, I searched for the method, but again became confounded by the lack of any mention in all my searches.
Then I decided to check my computer, and had found something at last. I had completely forgotten about the fact that I had written about Jeremy’s method in a short story, that I had intended to publish in a collection as my first book of fiction. The stories had been in perpetual rewrites, and cluttered with errors. Originally, I had thought I could quickly write the stories that were in my head, and publish it in a matter of weeks. The rewrites, and the corrections needed to the piece had proven to me how much I still needed to learn about the proper uses of grammar, and all the details that went into a finished book. So, I had shelved it, intending to make the corrections in time.
Still, the story only mentioned the method, though, and it didn’t give me any more to go on besides the fact that I had indeed written about it, and that it was still in my sub-conscious and in the recesses of my mind.
Then I began to search for the other elements I could remember. I looked into sun cycles, solstices, new moons and the like. As it turned out, on December 21st of that same year, there was a new moon, on the solstice, and that we were six years into the 24th sun cycle. Previously, I had used the method on the longest day, whereas this would be the darkest night. I also noticed that before I had been six years into the sun cycle as well; excepting that was the 21st as recorded by man.
I determined then what I would do. I would wait until the 21st, and go back to North-side field with the items, and perform the same feat that I had previously enacted decades before. I would make some minor adjustments, (like setting the watch back an hour, instead of ahead). Perhaps, I thought, this was the way of balancing and completing the effect.
Again, I told no one. I just waited, and for the next several months went about my life as usual. But now, baptized into the Church, my life was changing dramatically as a result of this. It would be my first Christmas in this state, and everything about my life was steadily being transformed. I could feel that soon, I would return to the stage.
I released my 3rd album that year, and it was the last of my ‘underground years’ series, as I had termed them. Now, I would start fresh in the year to come, and as for the rest of my recordings, I put them on the shelf, not knowing what to do with them other than that, for the time being. Things began to change for me again, on December the 15th.
It was a Monday, and the snow was in full effect. After tending to some business in the city, I came into the house, and began to feel very dizzy. Immediately I started for the basement to rest a while, hoping it would pass. With each step down the stairs I felt more and more lethargic, and my thoughts had, (for some reason), turned to the metal box as it came into view. My impulse was to get to it, and I felt pulled there by some force that I could not understand. I never reached it though, blacking out just as I reached the bottom of the stairs.
When I came to I was laying on my futon, in front of the television. The movie “A Christmas Carol” starring Alastair Sims was playing. Looking at the clock, it was 5 am. It was on DVD, as it turned out, and I had a blanket placed over me, with one hand underneath the covers, and the other dangling in the air off to the ground.
I leaned up and pulled my laptop toward me, and checked the date; it was December 22nd, 2014. I had lost another week. As I went to stand up and shake off the hazy state I was in, something fell to the ground which had been laying in my lap.
It was the book, “Jeremy’s method,” as though it had been with me all along. It looked exactly as it had the last time I had gazed upon it. Confounded, I rustled through the pages to see if the date I had chosen had been the right one. It was there as well; December 21st, 2014.
I quickly got dressed and prepared a thermos for departure. The snow had fallen in large amounts that month, and I knew I would have to travel on foot. I lived across town these days, unlike in my youth. So the place would be closer to get too, but it took longer trudging through the deep snow.
I arrived at the lonely street and as I had thought might be the case, the “Time Passages” book store was there. I took a breath and stepped inside. The old man emerged from the back of the red curtain, and he looked as if he too, had not aged at all.
“You’re not so young anymore!” he said.
“Yes, and you haven’t changed at all.” I replied.
“In outward appearances it would seem so, but I do age on a different schedule.” He beckoned me closer, and I walked in deeper to the back of the store. At this point, I knew that I was in a fantasy land of sorts, but still was not sure what to make of this odd event.
He opened his hand to me, and produced the three coins to show me. Each dated before 1982.
“Are they the same ones?” I asked.
“Of course, I told you I would keep them in trust. Have you got the book?”
I handed him the journal from my backpack, and my face betrayed my dissatisfaction.
“Well, it looks like you are not satisfied with what you found!”
“I didn’t find anything, but two black outs, and two lost weeks of my life. One was back then, and the other only days ago.”
“Hmmm,” he shrugged. “Well, that is only up ’til now. Your journey is not yet complete.”
“No thanks, Jag,” I said. “I don’t want any more blackouts.”
“No, no, of course not,” he smiled. “Come back here, I have something that will set your mind at ease.”
I walked into the back rectangular room, and he dislodged a book from a lower shelf, and handed it to me. It was “Ad astra.”
“I have seen this book before. The first time I came here, it was the only one I pulled out.” I began to run my hands across its leather, which appeared very old to me.
“Yes, but did you ever look at the back?”
I turned it over, and read the accompanying words, “per aspera.”
‘To the stars, through hard ways.’
I looked back at the old man as he began to speak.
“There are many things still unknown to us all. Now, you feel that you have lost two weeks of your life. This book, will show you what you really found while you were gone…if you choose. Or, I can give you back your coin.”
“Yes, the other two you spent already. One in 1982, and the other just recently, in what you call the blackouts. I have to make some money, you know.”
“Oh no,” I said explaining, “I understand. I don’t know how any of this works.”
“Neither do I!”, he laughed. “That’s what makes it all so magical.”
“Anyway, It’s up to you, Mr. Kane.”
“I see…well, no more blackouts right?”
“I assure you this time you will remember everything.”
I stared again at the coin in his hand, and then the book that was in mine. I had come this far, I thought, and I might as well finish it. By the ticket, and take the ride.
“An excellent decision. I wouldn’t have like to see you leave feeling you have lost something, when in truth, there is much to gain in your little odyssey. Now, you do remember the bare bones of Jeremy’s method, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I think so.” I said.
“Well, let your intuition be your guide, and do all that you remember and you will be fine.”
“When is the book due?”
“This isn’t a library, Mr. Kane. Don’t worry about such things. I will take care of the minor details. You just go back to the field, and then…”
“Take a little tryst.”
As I opened the door to leave, I turned back to look at him one last time.
“Will you be here, when I return?”
The wind blew snow into my face, and the door closed. In the distance, I thought I heard him say, ‘I’ll see you around.’
The sign and the store were gone. It was just a lonely vacant street again, but I had the book of the stars in my hands. I thought about its title and wondered how hard of a trip it would truly be.
End of Part II
The universe abounds with objects of energy, both great & small. From sun, moon and stars, to the tiny atom, molecules, and the dark matter that lies between.
Man has tried, through science to understand these various elements of the physical creation, and has made great strides over the centuries to grasp some of the aforementioned to a degree. Star gazers in the field of astrology have long known of the cycles of the sun which occur approximately every eleven to fourteen years, and the sun’s rotation in relation to our planet earth; the solstices, equinoxes, time of eclipses and more. The moon cycles and how many occur each year, being charted and predicted as well. Man has studied and recorded carefully the motions of the stars in the heavens, and the other planets, realizing their apparent retrograde motion, and the way of orbits of their moons. Indeed, it is in the heavens, man has looked to for a glimpse of the past, in relation to the present, and many often live their lives believing that the stars can predict their future.
In more recent times, the smaller elements revealed similar rotations and actions in the microcosms that make up the fabric of all that we see. In between is the dark matter, bridging the gap of what is, as what isn’t.
But mankind, even in the best of efforts, still has not scratched the surface yet of what life truly is. Theories abound about parallels in string theory, the nature of dark matter, the power of when the stars align in certain configurations, (such as a triple conjunction of Neptune & Jupiter), or the effect of a full or new moon on homo-sapiens, the wolves, and creatures in general. How can he? It is an infinite quest. If man had devoted his studies exclusively to the earth alone throughout time, he would still not grasp fully the bottomless depth of the ocean, as the home of leviathan, and the host of unknown creature’s, (both plant and animal and others), that lie beneath.
But there are many things that these various elements we have mentioned hold in common. They all come from the same Creator. They all are bound by rules, and constrained, or held, if you will, in their proper places. Although the components appear to
be alone & distinct, they are part of a united whole; with each depending on the others to exist and thrive. Take away one, and the effect is immediate and everything else becomes transfixed in its wake.
There are certainly many other things that we could discuss about the universe, and all that is in it, that binds it together, and the commonalities of life as we know it. And we will, I suppose, for eternity. There is one truth I have found and that is, that the more we know, the more it dawns on the humble soul, that we don’t know anything. This would mean, that anything is theoretically possible, when we tap into the unknown.
Metaphorically, it is in the dark matter that this tale takes place; in the place that is between what we comprehend and understand, and what is mystically present everywhere. It is in this unknown and undiscovered place that we will discuss a great obsession in the collective consciousness; manipulation of time.
Time governs all that we have discussed; or does it? Its been espoused that time can bend, and be altered. Suffice it to say that to the naked eye and the limited intellect of created man, it seems that time is something that locks us into in the flesh of a moment, as we pass through life on the temporal plane. But what if…we could take a tryst upon a time?
Our first article in the sci-fi genre for the gazette will be arriving shortly. “A tryst upon the Times” is the title of the piece, and will feature myself as the main character as the Editor, who uncovers something interesting about the subject in the title, and relates it to the reader in this fashion. The article is the first in a three-part series of the tale. I must mention also that it will delve in caricature fashion with the time and place in question that was many years ago, when I was a boy. Please check back for this article as it is the first of its kind here, at the C.T.G., as we present it to you, the dear reader. Thanks for reading, and checking out our website.
C. N. Kane
“Great Michigan Mysteries Series”
“Trout Lake Doe”
J. C. Madhouse
Drawing from Michigan State Police.
The gelid winds came on early, that year in the north. It was the fall of 1966, and the wind grew cold as it crossed the Great Lakes and converged inland. The result was a nippy September, causing a biting end to an otherwise pleasant summer. It served as a harbinger to the winter that came; frigid and bitter as an ominous setting to the tale that we tell. The autumnal equinox took place on September 23rd.
It is a case of barbaric savagery. The picture above is a police sketch of the victim of this unsolved homicide, which took place nearly fifty years ago.
On November 3rd, (which was just days before the body was found), there was a winter storm. It was a blizzard of record snowfall throughout the state. The inclement weather had come early that year in both the Upper and Lower Peninsula’s of Michigan; which is the setting from which our arcane mystery is derived.
It is dubbed so because, although a half a century has passed, the victim remains unidentified. The killer, (or killers), are still unknown. Justice in this case, it seems, will be handled in the after world. A place where the poor soul will have a name, and a day of reckoning will come for those involved in this heinous act.
As the summer came to a brisk close that year, Michiganders were already dealing with the rain, the ice, and the snow that signaled a quickening end to the sunny days and the warmth of the season. The premature frost, echoed the untimely demise of the young man who was so deplorably deposited in the backwoods of the Upper Peninsula’s Hiawatha National Forest.
It is in the passing of the season that is summer’s end, as the fall arrives, that the colors of the leaves burst forth as brilliantly as a flame. This flash of light in the scenery is but a precursor to the death of things. The leaves turn brittle and fall, and the chills come more suddenly. The birds fly away, and the forest is blanketed in white for the winter. Some things burrow, others hibernate, and some things simply wilt, rot, and decay. Once again they become welcomed back into the wheel and cycle of life. From the earth to wit they have come, so do they also return. As such is the case with the poor soul of whom we speak. For this one, it was all too soon.
The unidentified victim was left to these harsh elements. Surrounded by beauty in the throes of decay; to perish and decompose. There is no doubt, (to this writer), that it was a very sad and lonely scene. Made sadder still, by the silent years that have passed as the case remains unsolved; without the perpetrator, (or perpetrators), caught, and victims identity known.
It was on November 11th, 1966, that three deer hunters came across the badly decomposed remains of a young man, at the base of a pine tree, on the eastern side of the Hiawatha National Forest. One of these men was identified as Marvin J. Redmond of Inkster. The other two men were unnamed.
Authorities postulated that the young man died in the summer; possibly in the early part of the season.
Though the body had been there for some months, the medical examiners approximated his age and proportions as middle twenties to early thirties, with a height of near 5’10”, and weighing about 150 lbs. The victim was thought to be Caucasian. The Dr. had examined what was essentially skeletal remains, and the condition was such that some of the clothing had ‘nearly rotted away’. So the data recorded and available today is essentially guesswork; albeit by a learned professional with a distinguished career.
The Doctor in question is none other than the Professor, a ‘Doctor of Philosophy’, Donald F. Huelke, who was the Associate Professor of Anatomy at the University of Michigan Medical School back in 1966. He had been so since 1963, and continued to thrive in that post until 1968, when he became Professor of Anatomy. During the 60’s, when he analyzed the remains, he was conducting vital and groundbreaking work in the field of the applied bio-mechanics involved in automobile fatalities. His work would later have an impact on seat-belt construction, as well as assisting in changes of legislation; and it was very influential. But this case wasn’t a car accident, it was a shooting. All he really had to go on was the skeletal remains. So he applied his abilities the best he could. He recorded his findings, took some photo, and slides, and signed off on it. It was a body that was found in a small town, and the powers that be of that town thought it best in his hands, because he was an associate of the professor at the prestigious University. And that is also why the body of the victim in question went to college after his death. They packed him off to the school, and he was never seen or heard from again.
One of Dr. Huelke’s speculations,(besides the aforementioned estimations of height, weight, age, and ethnicity), was that in life, (the Dr. postulated), the victim’s two front teeth may have protruded in a buck-tooth fashion. Be that as it may, even years later, when questioned about him, (the unknown victim), the Doctor ‘vaguely’ remembered ‘that case’.
Yes, the forgotten case.
The killing had been a cold-blooded affair. We do not know if it was day or night. The victim had walked a short distance from the road. He was then shot five times, and died at the base of a pine tree. One of the shots entered just above his left eye. Several of his front teeth were knocked out at some point. Detectives were able to locate one eye tooth in the earth near the body. The teeth that remained were without signs of decay, and were in otherwise excellent condition.
The more precise location was about 4 ½ miles northwest of Trout Lake, in the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula. He was 50 feet from the road, at the base of the Pine tree. This was also 125 yards from the Naugle Creek Bridge, 30 miles from the Mackinac Bridge, and 54 miles west of M-123.
The area is considered ‘the back woods’.
As is surmised thematically, the case is cold in nearly every respect.
The killer was cold and purposeful. The victim was driven to the scene, as described, and then made to walk off into his darkened demise.
Maybe the killer told the victim to stop walking, or maybe he just started shooting. Then again, the victim might have stopped to urinate; they found his pants unbuttoned, and his belt buckle was undone. Regardless of whether he knew it was coming or not; the gunman opened fire, striking the victim numerous times. At this point, the victim collapsed at the base of the pine tree, where the killer likely closed in, and finished him off. This would have been when the victim was lying on his back, panting, spitting blood, (perhaps begging, or confused), and clinging to life as he looked up at his approaching foe. The killer then calmly walked up and shot him in the face; probably more than once. He could have been viciously kicked at this time, knocking out some of his teeth, and it is possible that one or more of the bullets dislodged then when he got shot. Only the one eye tooth was found at the scene. The other teeth were not known to be recovered at the sight. It could also be that the killer, (or killers), tortured him at another location, prior to the back woods killing; and at that time, had some of his teeth removed. How intensive and thorough of a search of the area the police conducted is not known. It is possible, (especially considering the conditions, and the limited resources of the small town police force), that much more evidence at the crime scene existed. But this cannot be known with any degree of certainty.
The two divergent theories that form based on the information that is available to us, (in my estimation), have to do with whether the young casualty knew he was being driven to his death, or whether he did not. Whichever it is, the evidence then goes astray in unique striations, each with it’s own difficulties present.
In a case like this, conjecture can only take us so far, until we reach the great chasm that stands between what can be learned, and what is just out of reach. We are left to theoretically bridge the gap, with all due discretion. Our method; extrapolations. Our means; whatever way it is possible.
The case is extremely cold; well-nigh to forty-nine years and counting. Additionally, there are other factors that make the case even more difficult to solve than if the only obstacle was the half century that has nearly passed since that night.
The fact that the case was inadvertently closed in 1989, (by some ghastly error), sends a further chill up one’s spine. This indeed was a great disservice to this poor unknown fellow. They discarded all the evidence that remained from police storage at that time. Simply done away with as rubbish, or clutter. The case was officially closed. But there is not a statute of limitations for murder. Never may it be so!
This young man had a family and a life. He never made it home to them, and he cries out to us, the living, from the vast beyond. This case does prey upon the mind.
It was Sgt. Robin Sexton of the Michigan State Police, stationed at the St. Ignace Post that had been on the other end of the phone when Dr. Huelke had said, he ‘vaguely’ remembered the case. Not long after this conversation, Dr. Huelke sent the photo and slides in his possession to the Sergeant at the Saint Ignace Post. But by the time Sexton began working this case, irreparable damage had already been done.
We understand that not every case gets closed. We would find it preferable if every victim could be given a name, every murderer brought to man’s justice, and all case files, evidence, and human cadavers could be treated with the dignity they deserve. But this is not the world we live in. We must press on with what we have.
In this case, however, as if it weren’t icy enough in its details and handling, we have to contend with the fact, that under the watchful eye of the University of Michigan, and our much vaunted Professor Huelke, they lost the body as well.
Is there no end to this particular mishandling? They lost the body!
Today, even as cold as this case is, (and it is so cold you can get frostbite from one reading), if we just had the body, we could learn a great deal through the DNA. We have seen this again and again in the modern era in which we now live. Gone are the crude methods of crime detection and identification of the past, and what has ushered in could only be described as monumental in its place. We could have identified the victim, (possibly), and perchance, even the killer.
This whole miscarriage to me is brutal in that, someone killed this individual, his case got closed, (wrongfully), the evidence destroyed, and the body lost. This man got mistreated before, during, and after his death.
But…all hope be not lost!
We do have the clothing he was wearing, and some knowledge of how he was found in them. For instance, his pants were unbuttoned as was his belt buckle. He didn’t have any socks or shoes on. The shirt was a lightweight tan-colored long sleeve shirt with frosted glass buttons, with metal backings. The size of the shirt was 15 ½ inches in the neck, with 32” sleeves. The pants were fairly new “LEE” brand jeans, with a waist size of 30.
We also have some items that were found on his person, via the jean pants pockets. A gold and chrome zippo lighter, a book of advertising matches, and some coins, both US and Canadian, with at least one of them being a quarter. A key ring with a distinctive swivel snap and strap attached, (this was of a type more commonly used on the Ontario side of the border), and five keys on the ring.
Three of the keys were Yale-Lock, one was of the “Kwikset” brand, and the last appeared to be a locker key, and had the #330 on it. The police at the time speculated that the type of key was such, that it might go to a locker in an industrial plant.
In 2008, a forensic artist, Heather Johnson made a sketch from the photo of the remains. Early on, investigators thought the man to possibly be Native American. Norman Sauer, a forensic anthropologist at Michigan State University, in a later examination, opined the victim may have been of Eastern European descent.
We are left with many things to ponder in this case, and for the moment, that is where it must remain. If you have any information about this case, or would like to share your comments, please contact me personally through the Gazette’s e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Though this series that I am writing is about some of the “Great Michigan Mysteries”, from our purview, this does not mean that we would not rather see them solved. We would also like to add, that we have faith that those who worked on the case, did the best they could at the time.
Until our next great mystery appears in print, this is J. C. Madhouse saying, “Tempus Omnia Revelat”, my friends, ‘Time Reveals All Things’.