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Father of Oakland child killings victim loses challenge

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — An Oakland Circuit judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday filed against the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office by the father of a victim of the infamous Oakland County Child Killer.

The dismissal ends all pending legal pleadings filed by attorney Barry L. King, whose 11-year-old son Timmy was abducted at a Birmingham drugstore and killed in 1977 by an unknown person. King had lost two earlier lawsuits, in 2010 and 2012, seeking information from police and the prosecutor’s office he is convinced points to known individuals in the death of his son and others.

King also failed in his request to have Judge Rudy Nichols order Prosecutor Jessica Cooper to meet with him and discuss aspects of the ongoing investigation into the unsolved killings of two boys and two girls between February 1976 and Timmy’s death in March 1977.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Kaelin opposed all of King’s requests and told Nichols on Wednesday that King has obtained all materials he’s entitled to under the law and has also spent several hours in private discussions with investigators and with Paul Walton, Cooper’s chief deputy prosecutor.

“This (lawsuit) is not about facts or information he (King) is seeking,” Kaelin told Nichols before the judge dismissed the lawsuit. “He has gotten all the information he wanted ... This is a vendetta against the prosecutor.

“He (King) has no legally viable case of actions ... we are doing everything we can to try to solve this case.”

King had maintained information has not only been withheld from him but ignored by Cooper’s office, that implicates Christopher Busch, a convicted child molester who committed suicide in November 1978 in his parents’ Bloomfield Township home.

King had sought the prosecutor’s file on Busch and two other men convicted in child molestations around the same time as the Oakland County Child Killer cases. King believes Busch, the son of a wealthy General Motors executive, was deliberately overlooked for years and never charged “due to political reasons.”

Busch passed polygraph tests at the time and pleaded guilty to child molestation charges in unrelated cases. He was given probation in 1977.

King has requested but been denied documents related to the search warrant for Busch’s house and also a polygraph examination. King said in filings that out of 3,411 pages he has obtained from the Michigan State Police, 602 pages from Cooper’s office and conversations with other sources, “none ... eliminates Christopher Busch and his companions as suspects.”

King is also upset information obtained by investigators concerning a 1972 Pontiac LeMans, which has connections to three of the victims, has never been properly addressed, yet for 37 years there has been “continued emphasis” on a Blue AMC Gremlin vehicle seen in the drug store parking lot the day of his son’s disappearance. The boy’s body, along with his skateboard, was found in a ditch in Livonia several days later.

In filings, King also alleged Cooper had improperly suppressed documents in violation of court rules. The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled against King in a similar lawsuit seeking records.

In dismissing King’s current lawsuit, Judge Nichols said he did not find any documents had been improperly filed. Nichols also denied King’s request to file an amended complaint.

Kaelin declined to comment after the hearing. Outside of the courtroom, a disappointed King appeared to be contemplating his next step in the quest to find his son’s killer. He said he could file a request to Nichols for reconsideration of his decision, an effort that rarely is successful.

“I really don’t know,” said King, when asked if he would appeal. “I don’t know what happens next.”

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