Possible Early Murders
The Case (Mark Stebbins)
The Case (Jill Robinson)
The Case (Kristine Mihelich)
The Case (Tim King)
With atleast three child murders all committed by the same man, the entire state of Michigan was in a panic. There was no real evidence, and the killer was still out there somewhere, likely to strike again. Stranger danger was high already. In one instance a man stopped and asked some kids for directions in his car, and a man came up and attacked him, thinking the man in the car was the child killer.
On March 16, 1977 the terror seemed to continue, with Timmy King. Tim was 11 years old, and the youngest of four, with two brothers and a sister. Tim was to be left home alone, since his two brothers were busy and his sister had a date. Tim's parents had gone out dining with a client of his dad's law firm, and were certain Tim could manage by himself since they weren't traveling far, and they weren't going to be away for too long. "Since he had sat for other children in the neighborhood," his mother Marion recalls, "we decided he could take care of himself. And we weren't going far or for very long." At about 7:30 that night Tim decided he wanted to go get some candy from a local drug store that was three blocks away. He borrowed 30 cents from his older sister right before she was about to leave, and told her to leave the front door part way open for him. He then left his home in Birmingham, skateboard in hand, to buy the candy at a drug store on nearby Maple Road. At about 8:30 p.m. He left the store by the rear entrance, which opened to a parking lot shared with a supermarket and as he was standing int parking lot of the drugstore two witnesses saw him get approached by a man with long shaggy dark hair and sideburns. The man was standing near what one witness thought was a blue Gremlin with a white racing stripe on the side of it. This was the last anyone saw Tim alive.
All of Oakland County soon flew into a panic. They had to get Tim back before it was too late. Although at the time it wasn't confirmed if he had been taken by the Oakland County Child Killer, they knew that if it was Tim might be alive if they found him in time, because the killer often kept his victims alive for several days before killing them. It took two days before police started released info on the abductor, after which they soon made up a legal document to show to motorists requesting to search car trunks and inside the car for Tim. The document stated that if they found anything else like drugs or a fire arm, they wouldn't arrest them. They just wanted Tim back alive. No one refused to let the police search their cars, and neither Tim nor his abductor were located.
Early on a ransom was called in, briefly giving hope that maybe Tim would be found alive, but it soon proved to be a hoax. His father, Barry, spoke to his son on TV ("We love you. If you miss Little League tryouts tomorrow, Mr. Rider said you could try out next week"), and Mrs. King wrote an open letter to the killer on the front page of the Detroit News. While Tim was missing Tim's parents addressed the killer and their son on a news show. They stated that when Tim comes home, they'd serve him his favorite meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Then, only six days after his dissapearence in the late evening hours of March 22, 1977 two teenagers in a car spotted his body in a shallow ditch alongside Gill Road, about 300 feet south of Eight Mile Road in Livonia, just across the county line in Wayne County. His prized skateboard was placed neatly next to his body. His clothing had been neatly pressed and washed. He had been suffocated and sexually assaulted, and it also appeared that Tim's hands and feet might have been bound. Some suggested that he was either suffocated with either a pillow or a plastic bag. Just like all the previous victims he had been washed, fingers and toes manicured, cleaning out any evidence under his nails. At the crime scene the police found something that really angered them. Some versions of what they found vary, but supposedly a chicken bone was found either in Tim's pocket, or another funeral card from one of the past victims, or even possibly both. Because Tim was still warm they tried to revive him at the scene, but it was too late to save the child. In the process the dump site was contaminated and most if not all evidence was likely destroyed. They managed to recover a single human hair though at the scene, but it's unknown if it even belongs to the killer. It very likely belonged to one of the paramedics or cops at the scene. At Tim's autopsy they found another taunt by the killer, it appeared that Tim's last meal had been Kentucky Fried Chicken. In an attempt to anger/provoke the killer, the police had the press report that Tim's body was found "face down," which was not true.