Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on February 18, 2005 · 13
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · 13

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Friday, February 18, 2005
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BRIAN DICKERSON Unplugged .'Bouchard is wideawake Mike Bouchard sounded as if he had nothing better to do than chew the fat, which was a clue just how dramatically the Oakland County sheriffs world had changed in the last week. On a more typical day, the sheriff is the sort of fellow who makes you feel like you're doing everything just a little bit slower than he's used to doing (. it. Spending a relaxed moment with Bouchard is a little bit like fasting with Emeril Lagasse or going for a brisk run with Michael Moore it just doesn't feel natural. By his own admission, Bouchard has never cared much " for relaxation. Until the Tuesday before Valentine's Day, he'd always been "a Type-A, 24-7 kind of guy" up before dawn, in the gym at the Beverly Hills Racquet Club while most of his neighbors were still drinking their first cups of coffee arid doing live stand-ups for TV news 16 hours later. He went to bed most nights at 2 or 3, tapping at the computer in his home office long after his wife and three children were a-snooze. The comfort factor Bouchard prefers not to discuss in any detail the symptoms that roused him from sleep that Tuesday morning. "When I played football, I learned not to show when I was hurt, and when I became a police officer and got injured, I used to hide it from my mom," he says. "Being sick just isn't something I feel comfortable talking about." He'd announced his plans to seek the Republican nomination for Debbie Stabenow's U.S. Senate seat the day before. He was supposed to do a live radio interview about 7 that morning, then attend the funeral of an Oakland sheriffs deputy who'd collapsed and died during a traffic stop a few days earlier. He'd never missed a deputy's funeral. Rut by the time mourners began gathering at the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Bouchard was in a hospital bed a mile north on Woodward, undergoing the first in a battery of tests that would bring his warp-speed life to a dead stop. Eyes wide open "When you're in a hospital bed, with no e-mail, you have a lot of time to think," Bouchard says. He was in the hospital for three days. He thought about his father, a general sales manager for Chevrolet "another classic Type A" who'd died 18 years earlier, before the first of Mike andPam Bouchard's three children was born. He thought of his friend and former legislative colleague, Frank Fitzgerald, who'd collapsed and died in an airport last December. He thought about the deputy. He thought about the vacations his family had taken without him and the one they were planning to take without him this spring. Even before the doctors delivered their diagnosis, Bouchard says, "I knew I'd been given a wake-up call." Since 1988, when he first ran for the Michigan House, Bouchard has been defined as much by where he wants to be as by what he is. If politicians were named like characters in a Homeric epic brave Achilles, handsome Hector, etc. Bouchard would be ambitious Michael. He said his kids a 15-year-old daughter and sons 11 and 8 were disappointed by his decision to drop out of the Senate race. But in the end, it was a no-brainer. "I'm not the kind of guy who likes to be slowed down, and I won't be, for long," he said. "But the reason I do what I've done in public life is to make sure my kids grow up in the kind of world I grew up in. And if I'm not here to be with them, well, it didn't seem like that made a whole lot of sense." Which is the way men talk even ambitious ones when they're wide awake. Contact BRIAN DICKERSON at 24X3r,l367 or dickvrifi' 1 ., FS. DAVID CRUIYIM Lessons live on after last child of Fatima dies. 6b MISSING WOMAN Police: Boyfriend led way to burned body. 3B IN CUSTODY Man says he was headed to Syria to find bin Laden. 2B FRIDAY Feb. 18, j 2005 i Driving Today B Roadwork -- I,...,,, I.. P Local Express - S Obituaries fc Death Notices 3 ON THE WEB j t phone 313-222-6600 Section B SgPI Xf .1 VI US1 1 i: J i 1 1 C3 Chid Mler -taint heats mpj " . VV ".s J - -- Decades later, j V ':''; -r ' f ' 're t cops work to v . I LJ ' solve Oakland l ' - .f mlfj A ' -7 Co. mystery i ; r f W iff 7 ' ' BY FRANK WITSIL h V - m t, i A 'J lit f ft "S STAFF WRITER" '' ' yru J ; 1 f!x 1 't DAVID P. GILKEYDetrort Free Press At the Michigan State Police Post in Oak Park, Sgt. Garry Gray, front, and Sgt. David Robertson are surrounded Thursday by file cabinets containing thousands of documented tips and leads in the unsolved 1976-77 Oakland County child killings. THE LEADS For nearly three decades, police have been investigating the slayings of four abducted Oakland County children whose bodies were discovered on roadsides. Police had several clues, including a pubic hair that was found on one of the victims, jewelry linked to one of the victims and sketches of a man seen talking to one of the victims. But every lead turned out to be a dead end. Here are some of them: Early in the investigation, police suspected the killer was a professional, said Berkley Sgt. Ray Anger, a police detective who has spent most of his career investigating the case. The thinking was that it would have to be someone that a child would find trustworthy, Anger said. Suspects included police officers, firefighters, doctors and priests. Anger said that one suspect, whose name he did not release, was a priest who moved to Sweden. Anger said he worked with Interpol and the Swedish police to link the man to the killings but "couldn't come up with anything." The man, he said, "was just a suspect." In 1999, the body of David Nor-berg, a Warren autoworker at the time of the killings, was exhumed in Recluse, Wyo., for DNA testing. Police wanted to know whether Norberg's DNA would link him to a , pubic hair found on one of the ; victims, 1 1 -year-old Timothy King. Norberg moved to Wyoming in 1980 and died a year later in an auto accident Police suspected Norberg because they said he had a history of making sexual advances toward children and was fingered by tipsters. After his death, a silver cross inscribed with "Kristine" was found among his belongings. A relative of Kristine Mihelich, one of the four slain children, identified the cross as having belonged to her. A DNA test in 2000, however, indicated that the hair was not Norberg's. Without more evidence, police could not conclude that Norberg was the killer, and the case remained open. t) ( . I 1 t' M ' - - - if -v 1 iHflhv - 'Wit i-. rtVA .' 'ft V - i 1977 pholo by ALAN R. KAMUDADetrort Free Press The body of Kristine Mihelich is removed from a snowbank in Franklin Village. She was one of four kids slain in 1976 and 1977. "It probably was one of the most horrific times in Oakland County. There was a cloud of terror over this county. It changed the way we live." L. BROOKS PATTERSON, Oakland County executive, who was the county prosecutor at the time. In a room filled with three-rinp binders, cardboard boxes and metal file cabinets overflowing manila envelopes, two Michigan State Police detectives hope to fintl clues to a mystery that has eludt;jl investigators for nearly three decades: Who was the Oakland County child killer? r, j Today, Sgt Garry Gray and Sgt. David Robertson plan to announ that they and detectives frorji nine suburban law enforcemerjt agencies are investigating the slayings of four Oakland County children with renewed vigor. They said they have an obligation to the victims' families to keep looking for the killer. In 1976 and 1977, two girls and two boys were abducted, held for several days and then killed and left on roadsides. Two of them were suffocated; one was strangled, and one died from a shotgun blast to the face. The killer meticulously cleaned their bodies, including their fingernails and toenails, but left a pubic hair on one of the victims. The slayings struck fear into residents and brought forth thousands of tips. A reward of $100,000 was offered for information leading to an arrest. However, no witnesses of the crimes ever came forward or were identified, and the reward is no longer available. And the killer, if there was just one, slipped away. Gray and Robertson hope that today's technology such as extensive criminal databases and advances in DNA testing and possibly new leads will help them bring closure to the case and provide relief for the victims' families. "You can't rule out any possibilities," Gray said. But, solving the case will be a challenge. Over time, memories have faded, records may have been lost, people have moved and ot hers who might have been able to provide key information including some parents of the victims have died. T, . Investigators are uncertain whether the killer is even alive. They also are not certain that Please see CHILD, Page 5B Muralist's vision has jail staring him in face By CHRISTY ARBOSCELLO TRIE PRESS STAI F WRITER 4 V j He painted Eve as God created her: nude. And when he finished including the bare-bosomed Biblical first woman, he inscribed the word "love" on the mural that covers the outside wall of his Rose-ville art studio. In Ed (Gonzo) Stross' eyes, his variation on Michelangelo's "Creation of Man" mural is art. In 3!)A District Judge Marco Snntia's eyes, it's a crime. Santia ordered jail time, a fine and probation a sentence that sounds a little harsh to a state senator, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and fellow artists. Santia ordered Stross, 43, to serve 30 days in jail, do two years' probation and pay a $.r()0 fine for violating a city sign ordinance. 1 1 JOHN F. MAHTINSpacuil to Itw Free Prau Ed (Gonzo) Stross, shown at his studio on Gratiot in Roseville, is headed to jail for his take on Michelangelo's "Creation of Man." Roseville officials said letters were prohibited on the mural and Eve's exposed chest is indecent.' Besides jail time and the fee, Stross is to tastefully cover Eve's breasts before reporting to the Macomb County Jail on Monday morning, and to paint over "love" by May 1. "Removing the work is the ultimate punishment. The jail time is nothing compared to removing what I painted," Stross said Thursday. The muralist and his supporters expressed surprise and disap pointment in the sentence. "They're trying to paint me out as a criminal," he said. After hearing of the penalty, v state Sen. Mickey Swilalski, D-Roseville, whose office is adjacent to Gonzo Fine Arts Studio at Gratiot and Utica, contacted the ACLU asking it to appeal. "I disagree with the decision," Switalski said. "I just think the whole episode is a very unfortunate thing for the city." ACLU Legal Director Michael Please sec MURAL, Page 5B Audit faults Mpatrick for disregarding rules $35,000 in staff meals cited in report By M L. FI RICK TRIE PRfS STAT T RITIR Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpat-rick's staff spent more than $35,000 on meals in violation of city policy, an audit revealed Thursday. Between January 2002 and last September, the mayor's office was reimbursed for meals even though they had not obtained required approvals for the expenditures beforehand, Auditor General Joseph Harris said in a review of spending by Kilpatrick and his staff. Harris' audit also found that the city paid more than $2,000 in late fees on the mayor's city-issued credit card and failed to provide receipts documenting $16,527 in charges. The audit also accused the administration of dodging City Council approval for $44,000 it spent on an event that may not have been a justifiable use of taxpayer money, An audit of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick found violations. The audit is the latest report from Harris revealing a lack of accountability in the mayor's office as we.ll as a disregard forvi-ty procedures. Earlier audits revealed tnat three niayoral aides embezzled tens of .thousands of dotlnrs from a petty-cash fund in Kilpatrick's office and widespread failure by mayoral employees to justify cash advances they received for city-funded trips. Harris declined comment on the audit released Thursday, saying the document spoke for itself. A written response by Patricia Peoples, executive assistant to Kilpatrick's chief of staff Christine Reatty, acknowledged many of Harris' findings and said the mayor's office is working to comply Please see MAYOR, Page 5B y

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