Between 1976 and 1977, the Metro Detroit area was gripped with fear when an unknown assailant kidnapped and murdered at least four children. “The Babysitter Killer” then displayed the bodies on various Detroit streets. Local residents are still hoping for a resolution to these unsolved child murders in Michigan attributed to the Oakland County Child Killer, yet no suspect has ever formally been charged.
The families of the murdered children have been waiting 40 years for answers. As the case grows older and colder, it becomes increasingly more possible a culprit will never be caught. There are odd aspects to the case that cause some to speculate that the authorities purposefully covered up the murderer's identity. If true, this means the four children who lost their lives - Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson, Kristine Mihelich, and Timothy King - may never have justice. Instead, they join numerous other unresolved murder cases of history.
Busch Was Spotted At A Cottage With Young Boys
Busch was a known pedophile, and in 1977, a witness called the Montmorency County police to report that Busch was seen at an old family cottage with three young boys. The cottage on Ess Lake is the location where Busch is known to have molested at least one boy before the murders began.
Timothy King disappeared three days before the witness spotted Busch at Ess Lake, and police recovered Timothy’s body three days after the phone call.
Victim's Father Found Busch's Death Suspicious
Timothy King's father, an attorney, repeatedly lobbied for more information about the case until he was finally given thousands of pages from the Oakland County Child Killer task force and FBI files. Mr. King has posted pages of evidence on his blog. This includes details of Busch's suicide that investigators never communicated to the victim's families in 1978.
One detail King points out is that there are a few clues around Busch's suicide that may suggest his gunshot was not self-inflicted. Per the police files, Busch did not have a measurable amount of gunshot residue on his hands. Additionally, the length of the rifle he used is so long it may have been impossible for Busch to use it to shoot himself.
Evidence Against Busch Mysteriously Disappeared From Police Custody
Aside from the suspicious drawing, other crucial pieces of evidence found in Busch's room were bloody ligatures in the form of rope. DNA testing wasn't an option for police departments before 1985, and it wasn't successfully used in a case until 1987.
Adding further scrutiny to the mystery around Busch’s possible involvement in the child murders, the bloody ligatures disappeared from the evidence by the time DNA testing became possible. It's unknown what happened to them or just how long they were missing.
Busch's Powerful Father May Have Influenced Authorities To Ignore Evidence
The automotive industry ruled the Detroit area in the '70s, so it's possible an executive for General Motors would have had a lot of influence. Some of the family members of the murdered children speculate that Busch's father used this influence to keep his son out of prison.
It may be impossible to prove this theory, but Busch did receive a plea deal for a pedophilia charge that put him back on the streets. The victims' families believe that this is evidence that Busch's powerful and connected father was pulling strings behind the scenes - strings that may also have been used to keep the evidence found in Busch's bedroom after his death out of the public eye.