Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 17, 2011 2:55:33 GMT -5
Mark's crime scene shown in recent YouTube video. When I had this up before on the web, a reader noticed the OCCK sketch #2 clone looking detective. Well he doesn't match as well as someone else I know.
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 17, 2011 3:08:08 GMT -5
"He'd probably have been retired and drawing a pension. He was really gung-ho to be a Marine," said Michael Stebbins.
However, his twelve-year-old brother, Mark, never had a chance to join the Marines. Mark Stebbins is one of four innocent children believed to have been brutalized and murdered by the Oakland County child killer between 1976 and 1977.
35 years later, the case is still unsolved and still terrifying.
"I can't describe how it felt finding out that my little brother was dead," Stebbins said.
It's a nightmare these children's loved ones will carry until the day they die.
"You never forget, never," said Stebbins.
Police have never given up. Monday, Michigan State Police took DNA swabs from the victims' family members, including Michael Stebbins.
"Hopefully with fresh DNA, God willing, who knows what's going to happen," he told FOX 2's Alexis Willey.
Stebbins said there are new detectives working the case combing through evidence and suspects. Loved ones, including him, just hope this DNA brings them one step closer to the truth.
"If I had some closure, maybe I'd sleep a little better at night," said Stebbins.
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 17, 2011 3:33:35 GMT -5
Abducted: Sunday, Feb. 15, 1976. (Vicinity of 9 mile and Woodward) Ferndale
Found: Thursday, Feb. 19, 1976. (Vicinity of 10 mile and Greenfield) Southfield
Mark last saw his Mother at approximately 12:25 p.m. at The American Legion Hall at 9 mile and Livernois in Ferndale. According to Ruth Stebbins on the radio tapes, Mark had asked her for money and she said no because he already had his allowance. Per Ruth, he didn’t seem mad, he just said okay and that he was going home to watch a movie. At 7:15 Ruth called home and Mark was not there. When she got home just before 9:00 p.m. Mark was still not home. She said she would wait one more hour and then call the police. Police scoured the neighborhood, abandoned buildings were searched, there was no sign of Mark
Mark was found on Thursday, Feb. 19th behind a plaza at 10 mile and Greenfield. The coroner concluded his wrists had been bound, he had been strangled, struck in the head, and had been sexually assaulted.
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 17, 2011 5:13:02 GMT -5
KIller's snow theory & winter theory, Helen's map of pick ups and drop offs from John's location, Mark's funeral card at drop off after funeral, Helen's blow up of Mark's drop off scene with something being picked up in foreground during the investigation? (Empty pack of cigarettes?) Dr. Bruce Danto, the 'B' & 'L' pattern theory, Kristine news article with possible finger prints off of body?, Sgt. Joseph Krease picture and his opinion of killer.
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 18, 2011 5:12:56 GMT -5
Wanted Poster of OCCK with details, three OCCK composite sketch drawings and history, comparison between Helen's suspect John from 1967 and the 1st OCCK sketch, Lt Robert Robertson senior frustrations with the case, Oakland County Sheriff Johannes F. Spreen's opinions of the police investigation of the OCCK, Brooks Patterson debates against the sheriff's claims.
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 19, 2011 2:36:41 GMT -5
An anguished mother warns other parents
A likable 12-year-old whose parents had separated when he was 5, Mark Stebbins wanted to be a Marine when he grew up. On Feb. 15, 1976 he went to a pool tournament, then started on the three-block walk to his home. When he hadn't shown up 10 hours later, his mother, Ruth, called police. "We haven't had any kidnappings in Ferndale in 10 years," officers told her reassuringly, but all that night she lay awake. "I kept hearing noises and thinking it was Mark," she recalls, "and the next few days I set three places at the table in the hope that he'd come home."
On the fourth day police found Mark's body in a parking lot two and a half miles from his home. Later, on the same spot, they found a commemorative card that had been given to visitors at the funeral home. "I didn't recognize everyone who came," says Mrs. Stebbins, 41. "I might even have shaken hands with the killer."
The family's suffering did not end with the funeral. After the murder Mark's embittered brother Michael, now 17, stopped studying, began drinking and using drugs, and was involved in a brush with the law. His mother, too distraught to work, has come to rely on welfare and, occasionally, Valium. She campaigns tirelessly to warn parents of the dangers confronting their children, but her exertions do not ease her grief. "Every time a child has been killed since Mark," she says, "it happens to me all over. I still think about it every day."
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 20, 2011 3:54:00 GMT -5
In the summer of 1977, Oakland County Sheriff Johannes Spreen gave a speech about the OCCK investigation to the Southern Police Retraining Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Spreen had been a critic of the police work on the OCCK from the outset and was an advocate of a single county police department, rather than individual city police departments. The speech was released to the press and was covered by The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press on August 2, 1977. The task force apparently refused comment, so what follows are basically unchallenged excerpts from Spreen's speech.
From The Detroit News:
"Fragmentation of police agencies made 'a vivid horror story in the investigation of the child murders in Oakland County,' Sheriff Johannes F. Spreen has charged. . . . 'I want to talk to you about the problems we encountered, the shortcomings of our solutions and how we should plan for future occurences,' he told the conference. 'I must tell you from the outset that the events will sadden you as parents, and infuriate you as professional police officers.'"
*** Spreen's comments about Mark Stebbin's case: "'Although the State Police maintain two relatively close crime labs and the Oakland County Sheriff's Department also has an excellent crime lab available, none were called to process the scene. By the time the investigator from the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office had arrived, the body had been removed to the Southfield Police Department. When the body finally arrived at the morgue, it was devoid of all clothes. . . . No one really knows what might have been found at the scene had proper crime scene procedures been followed and a crime lab present.'"
The Troy Police failed to call a crime lab to process the scene where the body of Jill Robinson was found. "'Noting the similarities in the two cases, it was suggested that a coordinated effort involving the State Police, Sheriff's Department and the local authorities involved be implemented in an attempt to solve the crimes,' Spreen said. 'The suggestion was submitted to the local agencies by the State Police, and the offer was declined.'"
"Berkley police refused the offer of assistance of the State Police and Sheriff's Department after the dissapearence [sic] of 10-year-old Kristine Mihelich of Berkley and only after her body was found in Franklin . . . did the Franklin chief turn the investigation over to the state police, Spreen said."
The News reported that according to Spreen, "[t]hat afternoon, 30 investigators committed themselves to find the murderer of Kristine Mihelich" and "[t]he Oakland County Task Force was implemented. The work of the task force was hampered from the start by many problems. It was discovered that one jurisdiction charged with the investigation had virtually no report and in another jurisdiction, evidence had been misplaced and mishandled. The investigative team was forced to investigate one of the slayings from the very beginning. Another agency was reluctant to submit their report to the task force."
Discussing the murder of Tim King, Spreen "criticized the task force for allowing 300 tri-county investigators to flood the area [where the body was dropped off]." The Detroit Free Press quoted Spreen as saying "[d]uring the King homicide (March 1977) numerous bits of information were lost forever due to inadequate reporting procedures and unfamiliarity with the case."
The News article went on to explain that with "posted rewards totaling $70,000, Spreen said, people began 'to use the case as a lottery. Parents turned in sons, brothers turned in brothers, and church members turned in their pastors. To date [August 2, 1977] the task force has 12,000 tips on suspects, with 5,500 closed and over 6,000 have not been checked.'" Spreen went on to state that "'ome departments were virtually using the task force as a training experience for their personnel. Chiefs were committing rookie detectives and patrol officers to investigate the homicides and were rotating their personnel periodically to allow everyone to participate in the investigation.'"
The Freepress article quoted Spreen describing the major problem "'initially was a lack of coordination between the agencies involved. Information was not shared, offers of assistance (from other police agencies) were refused, each investigator jealously guarded the identity of his suspects in order to be the one to crack the case.'"
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 21, 2011 3:30:51 GMT -5
In October 2007, the family of Mark Stebbins filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Lamborgine seeking $25,000. The lawsuit alleges Lamborgine, who lived in Metro Detroit in the late 1970s, abducted Stebbins and held him captive in a Royal Oak house for four days in February 1976 before smothering him to death during a sex assault.
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 22, 2011 0:57:15 GMT -5
The Babysitter Killer A sweet old man left his heart -- and a trail of terror -- in Detroit. By Jared Klaus Published: May 2, 2007
It was perhaps the most boring stakeout ever, like trailing Mr. Rogers.
Ted Lamborgine's days started at sunrise with a cup of coffee at McDonald's. Then he was off for a few laps around Parmatown Mall with the power-walking geriatrics. But mostly he just stayed home at his Parma Heights apartment. Sometimes at night, he might head down the street to the Olive Garden. All-you-can-eat soup and salad was as exciting as Ted's life got.
On Sunday mornings, he climbed into his shiny Ford pickup to catch the Word at a Baptist church in Brook Park. He carried the Bible everywhere, had the thing highlighted like a college textbook. Before he retired from the Ford plant down the road, he even carried it to work.
"He's your typical grandpa," says Parma Heights Police Sergeant Wayne Mockler. "You wouldn't look twice."
But if Michigan police were correct, he was also a serial killer.
The newspaper photos are yellowed now. Bright faces of children. Police in wide-brimmed hats bowing their heads along freeways. That grimy suspect sketch.
For 30 years, the Oakland County child killings have remained one of Michigan's most heinous unsolved crimes, fodder for Geraldo and E! True Hollywood Story, and the bane of two generations of detectives. Because somewhere out there, on some grainy TV in middle America, they knew he was watching. And he would look like any other elderly man eating dinner at the table next to you.
But everyone leaves traces. Hidden somewhere was a key that would unmask him.
On an August afternoon in 2005, Ted left his apartment in his pickup. Mockler followed, put on his flashers, and walked up to the driver's window. "There are some officers from Michigan who want to talk to you," he said politely.
Ted seemed to take a second to think, then replied calmly, "I knew my past would catch up to me."
When Ruth Stebbins called Ferndale police on February 15, 1976, to report her 12-year-old son Mark missing, chances are the cops took her for an overly worried mother.
After all, bad things didn't happen in Oakland County, which envelops the suburbs of Detroit. People left their doors unlocked. Kids walked to school, played in the streets, explored like frontiersmen in the woods behind their homes. Ferndale, as the name implies, was a town of Little Leaguers, pancake breakfasts, and the music of ice cream trucks.
Still, Ruth was worried. Mark had called that afternoon from the American Legion Hall to say he was coming home to watch a movie. That was hours ago. Now it was dark and bitter cold outside.
Mark's description went out to police radios -- just under five feet tall, with a head of soft, red-blond hair and blue eyes.
Four days later, the little boy turned up in a pile of weeds near a shopping center. He'd been smothered. Tears on his anus showed he'd been raped. The horror movie had begun.
The scariest thing was that Mark appeared to have been selected at random. No clues, no witnesses, no suspects. Police beat their heads against the wall and waited. But the next 10 months proved eerily calm.
Then three nights before Christmas, the monster came back out to hunt.
Biscuits -- that's why 12-year-old Jill Robinson and her mother were screaming at each other. Mom wanted Jill to make them for dinner. Jill wanted Mom to shut up. Fed up, Mom uttered the two words she'd wish forever she could take back: "Get out!"
So Jill did. She threw her hairbrush, a blanket, makeup, and some underwear in a knapsack. She put on her wool cap and parka to keep warm. Then she climbed on her bicycle and started pedaling down her street in Royal Oak, a suburb just north of Ferndale, disappearing into the darkness.
On Christmas, Jill wasn't there to open her presents. A day later, a driver spotted a body in a ditch along I-75.
The top of Jill's skull had been blown off by a point-blank shotgun blast. Passing drivers could see a circle of red around the wound like a crimson halo in the snow. She'd been killed just hours before being found, shot right there like a wounded deer.
Once again the killer left no trace. Cops weren't even sure the two murders were related. Mark Stebbins had been kept like a sex slave and then snuffed to cover the rapist's tracks. Jill Robinson, on the other hand, showed no signs of having been sexually abused. But she'd been kept alive for days, fed and washed like a Christmas goose being readied for slaughter.
It was that image that had Tom Ascroft downing sleeping pills every night. His stepdaughter, Kristine Mihelich, a fifth-grader with shiny brown bangs, had fallen off the Earth on a clear January afternoon in the suburb of Berkley, just a week after Jill's body was found. She'd told her mother she was just walking to 7-Eleven.
But no body had been found. Ascroft knew that, somewhere, his baby was crying, wondering if Mommy and Daddy were ever going to find her.
"You don't want to think of what could be happening," he says. "I still don't."
Four-year-old Erica watched her big sister's face on the television as her sobbing grandmother dripped tears. She watched her dad rush out of the house with his pistol to search for Kristine.
Days turned into weeks. Neighbors in Berkley went door to door, raising money for a reward. Kristine's parents held news conferences. Her face plastered light posts and front pages. But no one dared say what they were all thinking -- this was a murder investigation, and the cops were just waiting for a body.
Then, on the morning of January 21, 1977, after 19 days of agony, the wait was over. Ascroft got a call at work from a TV reporter. Cameras were set up on a rural road. There was a hand sticking out of the snow.
That night Ascroft drove through a blizzard to the state police outpost in Pontiac. His little girl was lying on a metal table, still covered in snow. Her body was so frozen that doctors couldn't perform an autopsy until she thawed. Ascroft ran to the bathroom and broke down.
"It was one of those moments where you want to hold somebody, but you can't," he says. "I couldn't touch her. I could only look at her."
Now there was no doubt: This was a serial killer. Cops from all over Michigan descended on the suburbs of Oakland County to set up a dragnet.
Playgrounds emptied. Doors locked. Panic settled in. Kathryn Wargo remembers ushering her three young kids to and from school, forbidding them to play in the street. People were "worried, scared -- not knowing if it was going to be one of their kids, one of ours," she says. "[The killer] could have been your neighbor. We didn't know."
But neither watchful parents nor an army of Michigan's finest could stop it from happening again.
On the evening of March 16, 1977, Timothy King borrowed 30 cents from his big sister and ran three blocks to the corner pharmacy to buy some candy. When Birmingham police got the frantic call that night that he hadn't come home, they started mobilizing. By the next day, some 100 cops had spread out to search for the little boy. Maybe he could be the one they saved.
Tim's father, Barry, appeared on television, begging through tears for his son's release. Mother Marion wrote a letter to The Detroit News, saying she wanted Tim home so she could serve him his favorite dinner: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Fueling their hope -- and misery -- was the fact that Tim hadn't been found. That meant he was likely still alive.
By this time the murderer was being called the "Babysitter Killer" because of his penchant for keeping victims bathed, fed, and living -- at least temporarily.
The call came on day six of the search. The son of a pregnant dog had raped Tim like a blowup doll. When he had finished, he'd suffocated Tim, holding him down as the boy kicked and screamed and finally went limp. Then he drove down a gravel road and dumped the boy in a ditch like an empty fast-food bag. Tim's body was still warm.
It was the Babysitter all right. Tim's body was spotless. His fingernails had even been scrubbed, and an autopsy showed he'd eaten his favorite meal: chicken.
It was as if the killer was taunting the cops, daring them to catch him. But he'd screwed up this time. A witness had seen the 11-year-old boy in the drugstore parking lot, talking to an older man driving an AMC Gremlin with white striping. It was the first real clue. Paranoia spread like wildfire.
"If you even looked weird or just a little goofy, and you drove a car that looked like that one, the cops were on you," says Tino Gross, a teenager at the time. "They wanted this guy bad."
Police hoped the killer might show up at Tim's funeral in some sort of sick act of voyeurism, so they camped in the balcony of the chapel and enlisted ushers to scan the pews for anyone matching the police sketch. Tim's body lay in a little white coffin adorned with his bat and ball. In the front pew sat the boys from his hockey team, all dressed in their red jackets. Suddenly the police thought they spotted him. But when the cops took a closer look, they realized it was the town's mayor. They were chasing a ghost.
And then the killings stopped.
Slowly, kids reemerged from their homes. Playgrounds filled up. For everyone but those four poor families, a sense of safety returned.
Around the same time, a stranger turned up in Cleveland.
Reverend Mike Hubers says he saw the Lord in Ted's heart.
It was 1981, and Hubers was fresh out of seminary, working as the assistant pastor at Madison Avenue Baptist Church in Cleveland. Ted had recently transferred from Detroit to the Ford plant in Brook Park. He had no family, no friends -- only God.
Ted devoted himself to the church. He read the Bible as literally as an instruction manual. When the chapel needed new paint, Ted was right there with a brush and a roller. He endeared himself to Hubers and his wife, and the three would often eat together at an Italian restaurant.
"He loved to laugh. He just had a great spirit about him," says Hubers. "There's so many things that trouble people's lives that you have to deal with all the time. And yet Ted was just a kind of a guy you could always relax around . . . He was a good man."
Yet something seemed to trouble Ted's heart. He moved from apartment to apartment like a man trying to escape creditors. Sometimes he'd stay for only a few months. Once he moved from an apartment in one tower of a complex to an identical apartment in another tower, for no apparent reason.
Even when he was in one place, he couldn't sit still. A neighbor who lived next to Ted in an Olmsted Township trailer park says he constantly moved his furnishings around. And he never once used his kitchen, eating out every day, even for breakfast.
Ted tried the stable life. He bought a little lemon-colored home in Slavic Village that had a tiny patch of front yard. His elderly mother and his sister even drove down from Detroit to see the place on a rare visit.
Ted became friendly with the couple next door, stopping over at times for coffee or apple pie. But for the most part he kept to himself. "He'd come home and say hi and go in the house, and that was it," recalls neighbor Jerry Primer.
Yet even a lawn the size of a doormat proved too much for Ted. A maple tree in a neighbor's yard was giving him trouble.
In the fall, the wind would blow seedlings like helicopters all over Ted's yard. And every day he'd be out there with a rake, doing battle with Mother Nature. He wasn't good with living things. His houseplants were fake and meticulously dusted. The tree, on the other hand, was a bothersome complication. After five years, he told his neighbors he was finished.
"He said he didn't want the job of taking care of a home," says Jerry Primer's wife, Pat. "He didn't want the responsibility."
Just like that, Ted sold the house, gave away all his furniture, and shrank his life back down to an apartment in Brook Park, closer to Ford.
Work was the one steady thing in Ted's life. With no family, and living on a college student's budget, he'd saved enough money to retire -- but he kept going, taking on as much overtime as he could.
To co-workers, Ted was invisible, as quiet and expressionless as one of the machines.
Cindy Jackson tried for years to break through. She was Ted's partner, moving scrap metal in five-ton loads. Ted was a lost soul, Jackson thought. She wondered who or what had hurt him. "I didn't know what his thing was, whether a woman had jilted him or something," says Jackson.
Cindy opened her life to Ted. She'd once loved a man, but he died and left her alone. She split her time between working and caring for her mother, who was bedridden with cancer. She wondered if she'd ever meet another man.
Cindy told Ted all of this as they washed down sandwiches with hot coffee in the control room, or gabbed over their two-way radios. She'd talk about her weird fascination with serial killers or the time a man tried to kidnap her at knifepoint from a bar. Ted just listened.
Then there was the day no factory worker ever forgets: the "near-miss." Ted was standing on the floor when a bucket of scrap opened up, dumping its load with a deafening crash just feet away. Had he been standing a few steps in the other direction, they would have needed a paint scraper to clean him off the floor. The accident spooked Ted so much, he asked for a transfer to sweeper duty. "I'm getting off this job," he told Cindy.
Perhaps Ted was scared that his near-miss had just been the Lord's bad aim.
It was January in San Diego. But on this day in 2005, in a little room inside the U.S. probation office, things were heating up.
Sergeant Cory Williams of the Livonia, Michigan police department had arrived to add a big notch to his belt. He'd cracked a 16-year-old robbery-homicide case that left a Detroit cab-company owner dead. Some mope in prison had finally decided to rat. Now Williams was staring into the face of the killer: a former smuggler of illegal aliens named Richard Lawson, alias "Coyote Negro."
But in the course of his investigation, Williams had turned up another interesting tidbit about Lawson -- a statement he'd given to Pennsylvania cops in 1989 after being arrested on another robbery. What he'd said hadn't made any sense to the guys out there, but to Williams, it jumped off the page: "I know who did the Michigan Snow Killings."
It'd be in Lawson's best interest, Williams told him, if he started talking -- and quick.
Lawson's story began in the 1970s in Detroit's Cass Corridor, a six-block section of dope dealers, hookers, bars, and poverty. Big families had moved from the South to work the auto plants. Hundreds of kids ran wild in the streets. It was a pedophile's paradise.
Lawson and his four buddies, one of whom he'd later identify for Williams as "Ted Orr," had a good thing going, as long as everyone played by the rules. Those poor kids from the neighborhood had nothing. So the men put money in their pockets and food in their bellies. In some cases the men even helped the mothers out, taking care of those gas bills to get families through the cold northern winters.
But they were also businessmen. They wanted something in return.
Back at their homes, in motel rooms, and in the greasy basement of a neighborhood bike shop, the men used the boys -- some as young as nine -- to enact their darkest fantasies.
They tried not to be too rough. After all, they wanted the boys to come back the next time they cruised up with a crisp 10-spot. And so the boys came back, some of them for years. Sometimes, though, Ted got a little carried away.
Back then, he wore a luxurious pompadour wig made of real human hair. On special occasions he'd bring kids from the hood up to mossy suburbs like Royal Oak for "parties" at other pedophiles' homes. Police suspect there may have been hundreds of men involved, networking like members of a book club. The parties were potluck orgies: Everyone brought a kid to share, and things were known to get wild. Kids were sodomized, photographed, then thrown in a bathtub and hosed off.
Then there was the time Ted scared even Lawson. They were at the apartment of Bob Moore, owner of the bike shop, when Ted whipped out a photo album Moore kept of their little sweethearts. Ted pointed to one picture of a little boy with a wing-cut and a cute, dimpled chin. The kid wasn't one of the Cass hood-rats the men usually settled for. This was a kid from the other side of 8 Mile Road, the dividing line between the dust and crumble of the city and the bird's nest of suburbs in northern Detroit. This kid was clean and had nice clothes. "Looks like the King boy, doesn't it?" Ted had said, winking. Lawson never forgot the moment.
Police hadn't seriously considered the possibility of multiple killers. "The original theories were always a single adult male, professional, 25 to 35, and could have been a priest or a policeman 'cause he'd lure them to the car," says Sergeant Williams.
But after hearing Lawson's story, investigators suspected that Ted, Bob Moore, and maybe others worked as a pack, watching each other's backs, making sure no kid wiggled free or screamed for help -- the perfect kidnapping and killing machine.
Williams left San Diego on a mission: Find Ted Orr and Bob Moore.
Bob Moore would be easy. Karma had already found him. In 1996, he went into cardiac arrest in his home. His pit bulls devoured his carcass before the body was discovered.
Ted Orr, meanwhile, was another story. The best Lawson could remember was that his real name started with "Lam." On a hunch, Williams dug up the old tip file from the '70s. And there he was, lost among the hundreds of dead leads: Ted Lamborgine.
Williams enlisted the help of Parma Heights cops to trail him for a few weeks, feel him out before confronting him. When they were ready, Mockler would do a simple traffic stop on Ted and ask him to come to the station, where Williams would be waiting.
Taking Ted into custody was surprisingly easy. He acted like a man with no secrets.
But the biggest surprise came in the interrogation room. Lawson was telling the truth, Ted said. He had been a pedophile. But he was no killer, he told Williams. On that point, he even agreed to take a polygraph in Michigan.
Williams held his breath. In the past 30 years, he'd seen cops come close to catching the Babysitter before, only to find out they were chasing their own tails. Once, detectives even dug up a dead man after relatives discovered a crucifix necklace etched with the name Kristine in his belongings. They checked his bones against a hair found on Timothy King's body, but it didn't match. Nothing told Williams this would be any different.
Until they got the polygraph results back. Ted bombed the test so badly that Williams was stunned.
"It was very conclusive," he says.
Still, police couldn't arrest Ted based purely on the lie detector. They let Ted return to Cleveland.
Yet home wasn't the same safe place anymore. The polygraph results had been leaked to Detroit TV stations. As Ted was leaving work late one January night in 2006, a camera crew was waiting for him. A reporter followed Ted as he walked to his truck, stuck a microphone in his face, and asked why he'd failed the polygraph. Had he killed those poor children?
Ted was speechless, dazed, jiggling the door handle of a car before realizing it wasn't his. He uttered only one word to the reporter: "scared."
When he finally reached the safety of his Ford, he slumped behind the wheel, sitting there for almost five minutes before finally driving off. Soon after, he walked into work and announced his retirement.
Even church, once such a warm place -- pine ceilings, worn red Bibles, and the most beautiful organ music -- was poisoned. Ted's pastor had been questioned by Michigan cops.
Ted disappeared from the pews. "I can't face those people," he told Parma Heights Detective Steve Scharschmidt.
Scharschmidt and his partner, Sergeant Mockler, took to stopping by Ted's apartment unannounced, with the kind of care they'd show if they were checking on an old lady. Ted would open the door in his bathrobe and boxers, invite the men in like sons, and offer to take them out for dinner. They would sit around a pot of coffee and talk about sports, politics, or their favorite restaurants. "He is genuinely a nice guy," says Mockler.
While the cops in Michigan were busy tracking down Ted's victims -- one broken, drug-addicted life after another -- Mockler and Scharschmidt were supposed to coax a murder confession.
In between the guy talk, they'd remind him of the kids from Cass, show him names of the children he'd raped to jog his memory. Ted didn't need a refresher. He remembered every little detail -- nicknames, what he'd made them do -- as if he'd been replaying it in his mind ever since.
Sometimes he'd seem close to cracking. Then the cops could almost see the wheels reverse in his head. They worried he might decide to take his secret to an early grave. One day close to Christmas 2006, Scharschmidt asked Ted if he'd thought about ending it all. Sure, Ted replied. "I just don't have the guts."
Nearly a year later, Michigan police were finished waiting. They decided to go with Plan B. Ted was getting off an RTA bus downtown when Mockler and Scharschmidt pulled up. They weren't here to chitchat this time. Ted was under arrest for raping eight children. But they didn't even bother cuffing the old man.
"Maybe God has a plan," Ted said from the back of the squad car.
After sitting in the Wayne County jail for 135 days, prisoner Ted Lamborgine, a quiet old pedophile in green prison fatigues and jar-bottom glasses, is led in handcuffs to greet a throng of cameramen, reporters, and policemen in the courtroom of Judge Annette Berry.
Justice at today's sentencing for the rapes of those eight children won't be as poetic as it was for Bob Moore. But one look at the meek, slouching man standing here suggests that his new friends in the Michigan correctional system will be drooling just like those pit bulls.
Ted isn't here on murder charges, but he might as well be. He turned down Prosecutor Kym Worthy's offer to take another polygraph in regard to the killings in exchange for a maximum 15-year sentence on the rapes. Instead, Ted pleaded guilty to all the sex charges, guaranteeing multiple life sentences. Not exactly the actions of a man wrongly accused.
"Guess what they do to people like you in prison?" Judge Berry says, glaring down at him from the bench. She lets the question hang there for a few seconds, as the crowd waits to see Ted's Adam's apple bounce. But not a silver hair on his body moves.
Judge Berry motions to two haggard-looking men. They're Ted's victims, the traces that he left behind.
The dirty basements and crusty motel rooms where Ted heaved his body upon them are now empty lots covered in weeds and broken glass. But the memory of what the man in the bad wig did to them is as fresh as the recollection of his stink on their clothes.
One man with a broom mustache and a flannel jacket rolls his wheelchair to the front of the courtroom. His foot is bent at a 90-degree angle from being hit by a bus. He's been to prison and had a long relationship with the needle.
The man isn't here to recount gory details. He's had every night of his life to think about that. He's not much of a public speaker anyway. Instead, he simply pulls his arm out of his jacket and holds it up for the court. The man's biceps are as shriveled as a piece of beef jerky, pickled by heroin. "Give him what they can give him," the man mumbles. "I can't do nothin' about it."
In a moment, Judge Berry will render her sentence: three life terms. But first the prosecutor reads a chilling letter from another victim. The writer was nine years old when Ted kept him captive at a home somewhere, forcing him to have sex. Afterward, Ted would feed him, just as he had those four murdered children. Now the man wonders why he was let go.
"I know the monster that is hiding inside you," he writes to Ted. "I have seen him myself."
Post by Helen Dagner on Dec 23, 2011 4:58:41 GMT -5
The Detroit Free Press article on September 8, 1978, appears to be
the last public word on the possible involvement of a Pontiac in these crimes. I believe this information was both inaccurate and incomplete.
The most critical part of the car information came from Kristine's
crime scene. The mailman who found her was bored and was driving along following in some fresh tire tracks that had been left in the powdery snow on secluded Bruce Lane. He followed these tracks until they came to a point where they swerved across the road. At this point, he saw Kristine's body. The imprints in the snow indicated that the car had swerved to turn around at the crest of a hill, at the point where the driver would have first seen the houses down below in a cul de sac. As it turned around, the front left side of the car left a mark in the snow. The car backed up and struck the opposite snow bank, leaving an impression of not only the bumper, but the rear undercarriage of the car. The car then completed the turn and footprints were left in the snow leading to the body.
The bumper/car imprints were photographed but not actually measured
at the scene. Police took these photos to car manufacturers in an effort to identify the car. The only positive response was from GM, who provided the names of several models which could have left the impressions, but without more specific measurements, they could not make further identification. LE then took the photos to an trained photo interpreter who was ultimately able to figure the measurements within 1/32 of an inch. The interpreter also noted that there was a trailer hitch on the car and that it had been pulled to the left, as in an accident. There was obviously a lag time between the first go- round with the car manufacturers and the subsequent GM inquiry after measurements had been figured. GM reviewed the more specific measurements and reported that the car involved was a 1971 or 1972 Pontiac LeMans. I believe the police and the FBI know exactly which year--1971 or 1972. An FBI agent worked on this project along with local LE.
I believe, but I cannot prove, that this much more specific determination of car model was made in June 1978. If that is the case, I have no explanation why the press release is issued three months later or why it inaccurately states that the vehicle in question was a 1964-1967 Pontiac Tempest or Buick Skylark. Wikipedia describes the 1971 LeMans as an upscale Tempest, and states that all three of these GM cars in fact shared what was known as a "Y" body"-- a semi-universal car body that was then modified according to model. It would make sense that the initial response might mention these three vehicles as possibilities, since no actual measurements were provided, but the second response was quite specific--a 1971 or 1972 Pontiac LeMans with a V-8 engine. Again, I have been unable to find any indication that this more specific information was ever provided to the public. The task force ran out of funds and was dissolved some three months after this Free Press article ran.
Why else is this so relevant and disturbing? Because the man who saw the car on the left side of the shoulder of N.B. I-75 at 3:30 a.m., near where Jill's body was found hours later told police he thought the car was LEMANS because he had owned a LeMans in the past and recognized the make/model. This witness also described primer spots on the left side of the vehicle. I believe this same witness stated that the left taillight was broken. (Damage to left side of vehicle--consistent with the much later observation by the photo interpreter that the car had a trailer hitch that had been pulled an inch or so to the left.)
Furthermore, as stated in the 1978 article, which was based on a press release from the task force, a small, shiny Pontiac or Buick was seen near where Mark's body was found. No color could be given-- just that it was "shiny." A lot of Pontiacs and Buicks from that era look very similar, but this seems very relevant in light of the car seen on I-75 and the car impressions left at Bruce Lane.
The color blue is mentioned in the article, but I cannot determine
where this description came from, nor can I determine if they are talking dark blue, light blue, shiny blue. I don't know how "blue" figures in, just that this color is referenced .
Attempts to have this information about the LeMans released by LE post-2005 have been rejected. I have reason to believe that two Detroit-area press reporters learned of this information at some point in the last two years, but they either did not follow up or were somehow convinced the story had no merit or would not be helpful in solving these crimes.
All of this being said, the world does not need to know about every
creep who drove or could have borrowed a 5 or 6-year-old LeMans in 1977 in Oakland County. But if someone knows about a 1971 or 1972 LEMANS WHICH IN LATE 1976 HAD PRIMER SPOTS ON THE LEFT SIDE, A BROKEN LEFT TAILLIGHT AND A TRAILER HITCH THAT WAS PULLED TO THE LEFT IN SOME TOWING-RELATED ACCIDENT, THAT WOULD BE EXTREMELY RELEVANT. These specific markers could have been noticed by a neighbor, gas station attendant or mechanic. Someone could have been a passenger in such a car when there was an accident that damaged the left side of the car, probably while it was towing something. Poke holes in my statements and assumptions all you want, but I would bet my life that if this guy is ever caught, he drove or had access to this car.