The Oakland County Child Killer

Season 3, episode 1

Oakland County, Michigan. Between 1976 and 1977 four children were abducted and murdered. Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson, Kristine Mihelich and Timothy King. They were held from 3.5 – 19 days. Their deaths were considered the work of a killer or perhaps a team of killers working together.

Forty years later and law enforcement is no closer to closing the case. We look at the victims, the crimes, the investigators and the families left behind.

Listen to PART ONE 

Or, for a deep dive into this case, check out Don’t Talk to Strangers, also hosted by Nina Innsted.

10 thoughts on “The Oakland County Child Killer”

  1. Thanks for covering such a famous Michigan unsolved murders case. I used to work with a sibling of one of the Oakland County Child Killer’s victims and he had interesting theories on who did it and why the case has remained unsolved.

    On a technical side note, your voice is predominantly coming out of the left channel on this episode. It’s usually mixed in the center.

    Glad you’re back!

    1. I would love to hear those theories, send me an email host @

      I used a different audio set up to record and I noticed the shift. Going to change some things around for next week see if that fixes it.

      thanks for the feedback!

  2. Hi, Nina, I hope at this point that my comment will be seen by you only (not looking for hype, and I’m almost embarrassed to share any of this). First of all, I happened to stumble on your site re: Oakland Co., and you wrote a very thorough article! Wish I had some definitive info for surviving family members, but I don’t. Just writing to let you know my oldest sister was married to John Busch (they both died in the summer of 2001). John, you may know, was one of Chris’ brothers, and he and my sister had 2 sons (who deserve to be protected). Anyway, “believing something” doesn’t make it a fact, but my sister always believed Chris was guilty; she sensed the Busch family knew, too. So sad for the victims’ families, who must still agonize for truth; I pray they are all people of faith. PS. I did have a couple email-exchanges about 10 years ago with a woman who was writing a book–was that you??

    1. I am not writing a book. I think that Chris Bucsh was a very sick man who did some very troubling things. I cannot say specifically if he is guilty of murder.

      Please accept my condolences on the loss of your sister. I also wish your nephews well. We cannot choose our family and I have no desire to cause trouble for innocent relatives.

      If you would like to email me, host at already gone podcast dot com. I appreciate you reaching out.

  3. It all started in the early 70’s when a man walked into Schraffts’s restaurant in the somerset set mall. He sat down at the bar, talking to the bartender who gave him a room to rent.

  4. Me and another girl were almost kidnapped by the Oakland County Child killer, it is on police record in Lake Orion, Michigan.
    We gave a good description of him and his gremlin car.
    He grabbed the girl with me and I grabbed both of her arms and pulled as hard as I could he was trying to pull both of us, I got us away, we were on a dead end street, we were terrified a bus came up, so we flagged it down, we begged her to call the police, she did not help us and made us get off of the bus, we ran fast he could come up the road again anytime, This bus driver is the one who let this kidnapper killer get away, I hope it is on her conscience to this day, we could of gotten on the bus and waited for him to come back up the road and got the license plate, or if she called the police they maybe would have gotten there in time to catch him, we will never know but I believe we were his last attempt to kidnap, we saw him and we heard him as he tried to talk to us, he was a young man I don’t think much over 18, the sketch on Wikipedia is forsure him, I will never forget his face, so if they have a man that is not in late 50’s or early 60’s they have the wrong man.
    I pray everyday for him to be caught, I can’t believe as a child, me and the other girl escaped such a monster.
    May we all pray for him to be caught, but we know there is no punishment worthy on this earth, he may not be caught down here, but he is caught up there.

  5. OMG!
    I was 10/11 and growing up at this exact time in Oakland County…. I was terrified!!! As I was an only child & my parents were in a bubble of religious BS & I was always left alone since the age of 7. I was petrified hearing the news, folks chatting about this… my parents weren’t very nice to me most of the time so for instance I remember us 3 going to what then was called The Mall (Pontiac Mall) they left me alone in our Plymouth Valiant and they were inside the mall for what seemed a long time so, I got out of our car & stayed near it but kinda walked around to pass time… I’ve never forgotten that afternoon… a car drove up to me & me being a kid saw inside the drivers window which was rolled down… a dude dressed on top half of his body but pure d naked on the lower half holding his D&@? I don’t remember much after seeing that I remember being very quiet & probably walked back to our car… I never told as I got whippings with leather belts them for even the slightest things… always wondered if it was him

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I am sorry to hear that you had an abusive childhood, I did also, I really think that the parents of the 70’s were the saddest excuse for parents, and there was something wrong with all of them.
      It is nice to be a survivor of a bad childhood, and also the Oakland County Child killer, I remember that guys face like it was yesterday, if you go on the Wikipedia OCCK the first face on the picture of three is the man that tried to abduct me and another girl in 1978 he was very young, very skinny, he had blonde hair and light colored eyes could of been blue or green, he was not naked with us he had on a t-shirt with blue jeans, so if you saw the face of the man that you have always wondered about, I know for sure who he is.
      Would love to hear your comment

      1. Hey Lulu,

        Is it possible that the young man who tried to grab you was Gunnel? His hair was found on two of the victims and they think he was used by Christopher Busch and Greene to help them lure kids to their car. Just a thought

  6. I just came across a summary of this case and it has triggered me. I was in 1st grade in Oakland county in 1976. I was almost grabbed walking home from school. (Thank god for Michigan ditches—it was the only reason he couldn’t grab me off the sidewalk) All I remember was a man in a dark car pulling over and telling me to “get in.” I ran like hell to the apartments along the road and pressed every button until a lady answered and called my mom. I would have to ask her where the apartments were and what elementary school as it was so long ago. I do wonder if my situation was ever related to these murders as it was the same area and same time. I’ve also wondered if I’d remember more details if under hypnosis. Just weird.

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