It is an irrevocable fact that on January 26, 1977, evidence implicating Chris Busch as a suspect in the OCCK case was deliberately destroyed and fraudulent polygraph evidence was knowingly manufactured to protect him from suspicion.
Each time Greg Greene and Chris Busch were tantalizingly close to going down for participating in the OCCK murders, they were miraculously saved at the last moment by polygraph tests. The OCP would use these knowingly manufactured fraudulent tests as a shield to protect H. Lee Busch’s son and feign helplessness: “What can we do? The tests don’t lie!” These fake tests caused a mountain of incriminating evidence to vanish. One could imagine Thompson and Patterson walking in on Greene and Busch in the midst of molesting a boy, allowing them to continue the abuse while administering a polygraph test to prove whether the abuse they were seeing was actually happening. But the polygraphs could not erase everything.
The protectors of Chris Busch had bought themselves a couple of days to reassess their strategy. Busch may have been improperly cleared in the OCCK case, but he was still in jail in Flint for molesting Ken Bowman on a bond of $75,000. Remember that this was 1977. In 2021 dollars that is the equivalent of $330,000. H. Lee Busch may have been wealthy, but he was also cheap.
Harry P. Newblatt was the judge from the 67th Judicial District in Genesee County who issued the warrant for Chris Busch’s arrest and set his bail at $75,000. He was also the judge who presided over a hearing that was conducted on January 31, 1977, 3 days after Busch’s arrest, to consider a reduction in Busch’s bail. Prosecutors and defense attorney can make arguments to increase or decrease a criminal defendant’s bail, but Judges have the exclusive authority and discretion to set bail amounts. Bail is intended to be commensurate with the crime and incentivizes criminal defendants to show up in court or the bail money is sacrificed. Factors that are typically considered when setting bail are the severity of the crime, whether the defendant is a flight risk and whether the defendant poses a risk to the community if released. Defense attorneys typically argue their clients’ ties to the community, their being first‐time offenders, etc.
During the January 31st hearing, Judge Newblatt had a sudden change of heart. No explanation was given why Chris Busch’s bail was reduced. It was not reduced by 10% or 20%, which, given the circumstances, would have been generous. It was reduced by 98.6%, which is unheard of. The reduction from $75,000 to $1,000 is reflected in Busch’s Genesee County Inmate Record shown below:
Was it argued that Busch had close ties to the Flint community? He did not even live in Flint. All that was known at the time was that he came to Flint to molest the local children or to take them to other counties to be molested. Also, recall that Chris Busch was in possession several film reels and photographs of child pornography that were discovered in his home the day he was arrested. If there was a compelling reason for Judge Newblatt to reduce Chris Busch’s bail to $1,000, it is not in the record. Perhaps he took mercy on H. Lee Busch for the substantial amount of money he already spent on his son. There was the cost of sending Chris to Le Rosey, the most expensive private school in the world. There was the house in the exclusive Bloomfield Village neighborhood in Oakland County. There was Chris’s house and restaurant in Alma. There was the cottage at Ess Lake where Chris molested countless boys. There were the snowmobiles and motorcycles used as bait to entice Chris’ victims. Or maybe Judge Newblatt reduced Chris Busch’s bail after he realized that he was the son of the former Cadillac Division Controller.
Below is the only publicly available photograph of Judge Harry P. Newblatt along with the headline and first paragraph of the article with which it is associated.81 This was not cherry‐ picking. I challenge anyone to find other photographs of this man.
Judge Newblatt was a guest at an exclusive gathering celebrating the upcoming nuptials of Ross Meretsky and Mary Louise Goldner. Goldner’s family lived on Park Avenue in New York and the wedding took place at The Pierre Hotel. This pre‐wedding party that Judge Newblatt attended was limited to just 50 guests. The party was hosted by Albert Lopatin. Lopatin and Meretsky were attorneys and lived in Grosse Pointe.
Looking into the honoree and host of this intimate gathering of friends that included Newblatt is a doorway to a strange world of obscene wealth and corruption inhabited by the rich and powerful. There are more articles showing Meretsky celebrating his stolen wealth and affected generosity among Detroit’s elite than articles about his work as an attorney. Below is a photo of the newlywed Meretskys with Elizabeth DeLorean, ex‐wife of John Z. DeLorean.82
It know it sounds like I am being a classist. How could I imply that Meretsky did not earn his wealth and only pretends to care about charitable causes? So what if Meretsky’s flashy, jet‐ setting lifestyle feeds the champagne wishes and caviar dreams of the general public? And what the hell does this have to do with Judge Newblatt? It is less about classism than contempt for wanton criminal behavior and the company the judge kept.83
This story, of course, did not get the full‐page spreads written up with slavish fascination by reporters covering the mover‐and‐shaker scene. Meretsky was vacationing in Greece when this story broke. It turns out that Meretsky made his fortune as a mafia lawyer. His stock fraud indictment came less than nine months after Judge Newblatt was among Lopatin and Meretsky’s inner circle of 50 friends at the pre‐wedding event. Meretsky was convicted on federal charges of securities fraud on May 4, 1973, but that is where the news stories end with nothing about his sentence.84 His punishment for robbing millions could not have been too bad. Because less than a year after being convicted, Meretsky was back to rubbing elbows with his fellow fat‐cats. His presence at the charity event in the article below was more low key. It was only reported that his Gatsby attire included a bow tie that was “an ivory velvet accented by blue and brown.”85 A surprising choice, given that he should have been in a black and white stripe prison uniform.
“Gatsby” was an interesting theme given that Fitzgerald’s character made his fortune as a bootlegger with shady business dealings. At least Prohibition was repealed. Securities fraud, however, is still a crime. You would not know by how Meretsky was treated. Despite his conviction, Meretsky was able to delay his sentence with 30 months of appeals. There was not a single article about his sentencing in the papers but Meretsky remained a fixture in the society pages enjoying the high profile company of the beautiful people. Meretsky’s freedom was explained by Detroit News columnist, Pete Waldmeier. Waldmeier was the only journalist addressing how this convicted felon continued to have a warm relationship with judges and unindicted elites.86 Meretsky actually did his time at a country‐club camp in Pennsylvania after which he continued practicing law.87
Then there is Albert Lopatin, the host of the exclusive gathering at which Judge Newblatt was photographed. Lopatin played in the same uber‐wealthy, “Eyes Wide Shut” circles as Meretsky, but his background is even more interesting. Not only does Lopatin have a history of securities fraud,88 he also bribed Michigan appellate court judges. Appellate judges are one step higher in the food chain than circuit court judges like Newblatt.89 An investigation confirmed the allegations summarized in the news clip below and much more.90
The only photograph of Judge Harry P. Newblatt shows him at an intimate gathering where the host and honoree are ridiculously wealthy thieves who bribed judges who were more important than him. Am I saying that Newblatt was crooked? Am I saying that he was bribed? No. I am simply stating the fact that the judge—who drastically reduced a child molester’s bail without explanation by 98.6% from $75,000 to $1,000 after learning that he was the son of the former Cadillac Division Controller—had some interesting friends.
Thus, on January 31, 1977, Chris Busch spent the last night of what would be his longest stretch in a cage. Four days. His father would post his bond the next morning. But there was still some work to be done before his release.
81 Detroit Free Press, January 25, 1972, 3C.
82 Detroit Free Press, February 15, 1972, 3‐C.
83 Detroit Free Press, September 1, 1972, 3‐A.
84 Battle Creek Enquirer, May 6, 1973, C‐6.
85 Detroit Free Press, April 5, 1974, 1‐B.
86 Detroit News, April 30, 1976, 6‐E.
87 Detroit News, October 18, 1976, 12‐D, Waldmeier’s earlier article for which an excerpt is shown below states that Meretsky was at a prison camp in Terra Haute, IN, but he was later transferred to a camp in Allenwood, PA.
88 Detroit Free Press, August 13, 1991, 4‐C.
89 Detroit Free Press, September 6, 1992, 1‐A.
90 Detroit Free Press, May 12, 1991, 1‐A.