On the day of his arrest in Flint, Greene freely admitted to molesting the boys who Flint PD previously interviewed between January 20‐24, 1977.37 He further admitted to being arrested in California on 45 counts of CSC and spending six months in jail and one year in a mental institution. Greene said he had been seeing a mental health counselor in Genesee County twice a week since May of 1976 as a condition of his 5‐year probation for the CSC charge in California. Most importantly, on the day of his arrest in Flint on January 25, 1977, Green told Det. Waldron that his associate, Chris Busch, murdered Mark Stebbins, the first victim in the OCCK case.
This statement is not in Waldron’s interview notes from that day. Nor is it in a “Special Report” that Waldron prepared for Chris Busch’s arrest.38 It is recorded in a tip that Waldron called in to the OCTF.39 Greene’s statement implicating Chris Busch triggered a seismic event that turned law enforcement on its head. It unleashed two diametrically opposed forces:
1. The first was dedicated to investigating the first major break in the OCCK case and bringing the suspects to justice.
2. The second was dedicated to undermining that investigation, inventing the fiction that there was absolutely no connection between Chris Busch and the OCCK case and making sure that Busch remained insulated and protected.40
We now know that that the latter was by far the more powerful of the two forces. The moment the name of this son of a wealthy former GM executive was mentioned, the case ceased to be about catching those responsible for murdering children. The shameful events of what occurred during the week between January 25 through February 1 of 1977 define this case.
The public has been fed a false narrative giving the impression that Chris Busch was just another pedophile who was identified pursuant to an investigation into child molestations in Flint. This fiction was invented at the command level with officers lower in the food chain being expected to fall into line by coercion or complicity. Because this false story had to be thrown together over a 24‐hour period between January 25 and 26 of 1977, it fails to stand up to scrutiny. Of course, if there is unconditional faith in prosecutors, there is nothing to scrutinize because no one would suspect that the OCP would be engaged in an effort to protect a child‐ raping murderer. This is especially true when said prosecutor channels his wrath and the substantial resources of his office at things like movie theaters showing adult films. If he came down so hard on people simply for possessing pornography, one shudders to think what lay in store for those who raped and murdered children. The “Oakland County Justice” that was meted out by the OCP was, indeed, shocking.
To the untrained eye, the Flint record of Chris Busch’s arrest appears to be a chaotic mess. A victim materializes out of the blue with no explanation provided in the record. Reports fail to identify officers from other jurisdictions who were present during witness interviews. No explanation is provided why officers from other jurisdictions were even participating in the investigation. Dates when polygraph tests were taken are wildly inconsistent. The Genesee County Prosecutor’s initial warrant for Busch’s arrest had to be voided over confusion of where the crime took place. After Busch was finally arrested, his bond that was initially set at $75K was reduced three days later without any explanation to $1,000. On the surface it would appear that Genesee County handled Busch’s arrest with the confidence and sure‐footedness of a drunk on roller‐skates during an earthquake.
This was in sharp contrast to the Flint record of Greg Greene’s arrest. Det. Waldron meticulously chronicled in detail how Flint PD was made aware of the runaway victim. The observations and involvement of the middle school principal and security guard were described. It was clear why Waldron and Miller approached the runaway victim’s mother and asked her consent to interview him. The record is clear how the runaway victim first connected with Greene. It is clear how all the other victims on the baseball team that Greene managed were identified and interviewed. We can follow an unbroken line of logic that leads to Greene’s arrest. After nailing the investigation and arrest of Greene with textbook precision and accuracy, we are expected to believe that the Flint PD transformed into an unhinged mess the very next day.
No, Flint PD did not get bonked on the head and lose its mind literally overnight. Someone was pulling the levers that resulted in each purported misstep in Flint’s investigation of Chris Busch. Someone who took an active interest in protecting Chris Busch because of his father’s wealth and connections to General Motors. Someone in a position of authority who thought nothing of abusing power and breaking laws to achieve his goals. Someone with a proven track record of hubris and stupidity who thought he could exercise absolute control over any situation. Someone who never faced accountability despite leaving an endless trail of short‐sighted, self‐ incriminating catastrophes.
L. Brooks Patterson was determined to exercise absolute control over Chris Busch’s arrest at multiple levels. He would control information by manipulating the arrest record dictating what the police could and could not say. The control of information would include destroying key pieces of evidence and replacing them with manufactured evidence. He exercised control by giving himself the authority to lead the OCCK investigation. He also believed that he had the absolute and exclusive authority to determine whether or not Chris Busch could be arrested. This smug belief was grounded in the assumption that Busch had the courtesy to limit his crimes of child rape and murder to Oakland County. Finally, Brooks Patterson was determined to control the messaging by anointing himself as the media spokesman for the OCCK investigation. This allowed him to control the public narrative, impose media blackouts, and peddle the idea that there was no connection between Chris Busch and the OCCK case. His debut in each self‐bequeathed role was at the exact same time as the Flint investigation of Chris Busch during the last week of January in 1977.
While Patterson and his cohorts carried the bulk of the burden of lying to the public and deliberately endangering the lives of children, they had some help. This help came in the form of well‐intentioned police investigators, journalists and an army of armchair sleuths who took an active interest in getting to the bottom of this case. They all make the same mistake of focusing on the killers. They are all blind to the fact that the OCP was steering the investigation in the wrong direction. No one understood that looking for the killer is pointless when the person who took over the investigation was deliberately undermining it.
The cornerstone of this unintended assistance involves the false idea that Chris Busch and Greg Greene were both arrested for molesting a single Flint victim, Kenneth Bowman. Although Patterson did his part to muddle the record of Chris Busch’s arrest in Flint, the pristine record of Greg Greene’s arrest was available for everyone to see. Unfortunately, Greene’s arrest record was ignored. As evinced in her thoroughly researched book, even Marney Keenan and Det. Cory Williams made several incorrect assumptions about Greene and Busch’s respective arrests.41 Keenan writes in The Snow Killings:
In January 1977, both Busch and Greene were arrested on multiple first‐degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) charges brought by Kenneth Bowman of Flint. 42 (emphasis added).
Greene was arrested by Flint PD on January 25, 1977, on the Bowman charges.43 (emphasis added).
Christopher Busch’s $75,000 bond was reduced to $1,000, while Gregory Greene, charged with the same crime by the same victim, was denied bond reduction and was sentenced to life in prison (Michigan State Police).44 (emphasis added).
From Det. Cory Williams notes: “We asked who conducted the test, and we told him Ralph Cabot from the MSP Flint post conducted the test in January of 1977, about the Oakland County Child Killings. Wojnarski stated right away that Cabot had a couple of polygraph problems towards the end of his career, where he got into trouble with the State Police when he screwed up a test on a homicide case. This test was done by Cabot in 1977 and he retired in 1980 from the State Police. This info about Cabot, matches what Examiner Larry Wasser said about Cabot, when he told me that he had a couple of times in the past, overturned Cabot’s polygraphs on cases.”45 (emphasis added).
Greene submitted to two polygraphs over the course of three days. The first, conducted by Flint PD Officer Melvin Scott, determined Greene was being truthful when he said he did not know for sure who killed Mark Stebbins. The second, conducted by MSP polygrapher Det. Sgt. Ralph Cabot, came to the same conclusion: “Mr. Green [sic] is telling the truth … and he was not involved in the killing of the victim.”46 (emphasis added).
As indicated in the previous chapter, we know right from the jump that Greene was not arrested for molesting Kenneth Bowman. Ken Bowman was not one of the boys who was on the baseball team at Donovan North Middle School that was coached by Greg Greene. In fact, Bowman was neither a student at that school nor did he have any connection to any of the players on that team aside from the fact that they were all molested by Greene. Bowman’s name was only known to the police after Greene was arrested. This simple fact is key to understanding the crimes committed by public officials to protect Chris Busch.
Before delving into the details of how Patterson manipulated the record of Chris Busch’s arrest, it is important to understand some fundamentals of police procedure. Specifically, it is essential to know the basic requirements for obtaining an arrest warrant and what happens after a suspect is arrested. It is also important to understand how polygraphs were being used during the OCCK investigation to clear potential suspects.
We will use the arrest of Greg Greene to explain the process for obtaining a warrant. The police investigated suspicious activity after being alerted that Greene was hanging around Donovan North Middle School and speaking with a boy who was recently reported as a runaway. The police took statements from the runaway boy and other members of the baseball team confirming that Greene molested them at various places in Genesee County. The police presented the evidence to the Genesee County Prosecutor and requested that he authorize a warrant for Greene’s arrest. The GCP determined that there was probable cause that Greene committed a crime and presented the warrant along with statements from the victims to a judge whose signature issued the warrant authorizing the police to arrest Greene. Thus, to obtain a warrant in the relevant jurisdiction, the police must show probable cause that a crime was committed. It is not only important to know the “what and when” of the crime, but also where it took place. The GCP had discretion to determine whether there was adequate probable cause. If the crime took place outside Genesee County, the GCP would have no jurisdiction to authorize a warrant. At the time of his arrest, Greene was read his Miranda rights that everyone knows from film and television. Greene waived his rights including his right to an attorney and chose to be interviewed by the police. A day after his arrest, Greene was arraigned where he was charged with three counts of CSC and the judge set his bond (bail) at $75,000. The prosecution and defense can argue for an increase or decrease in the amount of the bond but only a judge can set or modify the bond.
The use of polygraphs in criminal investigations in Michigan has a long and deeply entrenched history. The results of polygraph tests were heavily relied upon in the 1970s to assess the truthfulness of witnesses and suspects. A single test could nullify otherwise compelling evidence against a suspect. Even if the suspect makes incriminating admissions and there is physical evidence strongly suggesting the suspect’s involvement, a favorable polygraph result could magically cause all suspicion to disappear. Regardless of the whether you regard polygraphs as junk science masquerading as a legitimate law enforcement tool, the power of these tests in the late 1970s was undeniable. As was the damage bent public officials could do by manipulating polygraph tests and using them as a weapon for their own vile purposes.
The popular version of Chris Busch’s arrest ignores police procedure and the details of the polygraph tests that were administered to Busch and Greene. In this version, a victim, Kenneth Bowman, came forward and described to the police how he was molested by Greene and Busch. Thus, in the fictionalized version, Busch was on law enforcement’s radar only because a victim in Flint came forward and stated that Busch molested him. The popular version continues with Greene being arrested first after which he told the Flint PD that Busch murdered Mark Stebbins. Flint PD relayed this information to the OCTF who had Greene polygraphed twice on January 27 and February 1 of 1977. Chris Busch was arrested for molesting Ken Bowman on January 28, 1977 and polygraphed the same day. The importance given to Busch’s polygraph was underscored by the OCP dispatching his Chief Assistant, Dick Thompson, to brave a terrible blizzard to attend Chris Busch’s polygraph examination. Thompson’s presence in Flint emphasized how seriously the OCP was taking this suspect and led the OCTF to believe that the long‐awaited arrest of a suspect in the OCCK case was forthcoming. Both Greene and Busch told polygrapher, Ralph Cabot, that they were not involved in murdering Mark Stebbins. Much to the surprise of the OCTF team, Cabot determined that both suspects were being truthful. Greene and Busch were thus cleared of suspicion in the OCCK case. Even when they were subsequently identified as suspects in tips to the OCTF by other informants, the same Cabot polygraphs were used repeatedly to clear Greene and Busch every time.
Ralph Cabot is a convenient scapegoat for his “botched” polygraph tests of Greene and Busch. His interpretations of the tests are chalked up among several other lapses in competence that contributed to the OCCK case remaining unsolved. This is absolutely false. We are more comfortable believing in screw‐ups by lower ranking officers. We are unwilling to accept the reality that the tests were knowingly and deliberately falsified at the command level despite the existence of clear evidence that has been staring us in the face.
We are not talking about a conspiracy theory. The next chapter is based on documented facts that are painful to acknowledge. We will see how those who were entrusted to protect us had greater allegiance to a child‐raping murderer than the victims on whom he preyed. Buckle up, dear reader, we are about to plunge to the depths of human depravity.
41 To be fair, unlike Keenan, this author had the benefit of seeing the completed version of the investigative work. Williams and Keenan followed up on leads and they received them. Their perspective is colored by how and when they received information.
42 Keenan, Marney Rich. The Snow Killings (p. 143). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
43 Keenan, Marney Rich. The Snow Killings (p. 143). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition. 44 Keenan, Marney Rich. The Snow Killings (p. 141). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
45 Keenan, Marney Rich. The Snow Killings (p. 191). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition. 46 Keenan, Marney Rich. The Snow Killings (p. 145). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.