The Oakland County Child Killer

The Oakland County Child Killer (OCCK) is a serial killer that didn’t garner national attention (surprisingly, most serial killers don’t garner national news coverage). Between 1976 and 1977, the Oakland County Child Killer is known to have killed 4 pre-teens in Oakland County/Wayne County Michigan.

2 male children (Tim King 11 years old and Mark Stebbins 12) and 2 female children (Jill Robinson 12 and Kristine Mihelich 10) were conclusively linked to the Oakland County Child Killer in the late 1970s. There are at least 2 other cases that are deemed possibly related as of 2015. The connection between the cases isn’t DNA or anything so concrete, all four victims were found with white animal hair on them (they were all killed in different ways, abducted and held for different lengths of time, and assaulted differently) and all four were found in a similar positions after their bodies were dumped (indicating the bodies were staged after death).

There have been hundreds of suspects including John Wayne Gacy, who was in Michigan at the time of some of the killings. Chris Busch, a notorious pedophile that committed suicide in 1978 was also considered a suspect and one of his victims James Gunnels was linked to the murder of Kristine Mihelich via DNA evidence in 2010.

Unfortunately, Gunnels could not be linked to any of the other murders and the case was officially reopened in 2010 as a result. All four children were sexually assaulted before being murdered, but they were assaulted with an object that did not leave DNA evidence.

In 2012, Bob popped up in the investigation. Not as a suspect but as a bit of a mystery. Bob claims there are really 11-12 victims of the Oakland County Child Killer. Bob also claims that the assaults and murders were part of a Wiccan Sacrifice Ritual. Furthermore, Bob claims to be a member of a 12 man team investigating the Oakland County Child Killer and has worked the case for more than 10,000 hours. Bob also claims he knows who did it.

I keep repeating “Bob claims” because Bob is an odd duck. Bob’s real identity is unknown to the general public. He has approached journalists and the ADA of Oakland County with his claims. The ADA he spoke with says the meeting was a long rambling one in which Bob made a lot of claims but didn’t produce any evidence. Bob says the meeting didn’t happen.

In order to get the name of the person Bob says is responsible for the murders as well as the 7 or 8 unknown victims Bob claims exists, Bob wants access to crucial evidence in the murders. Specifically, Bob wants to read the original of a letter signed “Allen” that had details unknown to the public about the murders and was sent to a Dr. Bruce Danto. Allen didn’t take responsibility for the killings, but he said he knew who was responsible and that he would tell Dr. Danto (this was in 1977) that he would give him the information if the doctor could get a letter from the Governor of Michigan stating Allen would be granted immunity for his involvement with the murders. Dr. Danto did secure the letter, but Allen failed to appear at the rendezvous and he hasn’t been heard from since.

This case was already complicated before Bob got involved. It is rare for a sexual sadist (which is what the Oakland County Child Killer appears to be) to take victims of both sexes. And if the two possible cases are indeed linked, then there is some major disparity in ages, the 2 possible cases are both females one was 14 years old and the other is 16. There are precedents for pedophiles to have victims that are pre-pubescent girls and pre-pubescent boys. However, the 16 and 14 year olds would be a huge deviation as both girls would have been in puberty by this time.

Bob has stated Gunnels wasn’t involved. Well, okie dokie. Police don’t actually suspect Gunnels of the murders or assaults. Gunnels’ hair was found on the body of Kristine Mihelich. Police suspect Gunnels disposed of the body and does know who was responsible for the murders. Gunnels was also found to be in possession of a sketch of a young boy screaming and there was an eerie resemblance to Timothy King (the fourth victim).

Bob has even gone so far as accuse ADA Jill Cooper of participating in a cover up for the Oakland County Child Killer. I’m not sure who Bob is, but I believe Bob should be thoroughly investigated by police and journalists. Serial killers are narcissists who often involve themselves in their own cases (Gary Ridgway even volunteered to help with the manhunt for the Green River Killer – Ridgway is the Green River Killer).

I heard a theory recently that James Gunnels’ was Allen and that Chris Busch was the Oakland County Child Killer. It’s actually not a bad theory. Except neither Busch nore Gunnels (who was 16 at the time of the killings) drove an AMC Gremlin – the car King was reportedly seen getting into. Also a witness who saw King talking to two men, did not identify either Gunnels or Busch (although her description of one of the men did match John Wayne Gacy fairly well – DNA evidence and a timeline of movements has ruled Gacy out as the OCCK).

If Bob was not involved in the original murders, Bob needs help. I have two theories on Bob – he’s an armchair sleuth who wants to be involved and has taken it too far – or he’s a serial killer groupie.

As of 2018 the case remains unsolved.

3 thoughts on “The Oakland County Child Killer

  1. I do believe there where more killings associated, maybe he changed his motive?
    I don’t think John Wayne Gacy was involved..
    I thought Christopher was until I did some digging and found out it was likely to be a Suicide…
    (I wrote about this on my blog)

    Perhaps we shall never know who did it 😦
    Poor children 😦 rest in peace little ones x


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