Don't Talk to Strangers

By Nina Innsted

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Category: Society & Culture

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 Mar 15, 2019


Don’t talk to Strangers – The Oakland County Child Murders is a limited run podcast focused on nine child murders that took place in and around south Oakland County between January 1, 1976 and March 16, 1977. Four of these murders appear to be the work of an as yet unidentified serial killer known as the Oakland County Child Killer.

Episode Date
No One to Guide Him

September 1, 1978, 23 year old James Lossing of Mt Clemens commits an unspeakable crime against a child. Macomb County officials were asking - Could Lossing be the long sought after Oakland County Child Killer?

Jun 12, 2019
No Apparent Motive

In September 1977, Birmingham Michigan has it's third murder in less than two years. Authorities are quick to point out that this murder "was not related to the Oakland County Child Killer"

Who murdered art dealer and reverend John McKinney? His business but him in contact with OCCK victim Timothy King. Could McKinney have knowledge of the child killings? Or was it all a coincidence? #murder #art #unsolved #execution

May 14, 2019
Episode 9 - Stakeout

The final chapter of Timothy King's abduction and murder. (the track suit) (Dead or institutionalized)

Additional Music provided by RFM:

Apr 19, 2019
Episode 8 - The Ring

In 1976 law enforcement in Michigan uncovered a pedophile ring operating on North Fox Island, a privately owned property in Lake Michigan. Operating under the name “Brother Paul’s Children’s Mission” activities on North Fox Island allowed wealthy men like Dyer Grossman, Francis D. Shelden and their accomplice, Gerald Richards access to underprivileged kids who were sent to the island for a “camp experience”. This episode also uncovers a similar operation in Tennessee run by “Father Bud” and discusses the efforts of “Adam Aristotle Starchild” to assist men like Shelden in fleeing the country, and charges of sexual assault against young boys, while protecting their financial assets.

Mar 20, 2019
Bonus - J. Reuben Appelman - Children of the Snow

Interview with J. Reuben Appelman, author of "The Kill Jar" and host of ID channel show Children of the Snow, both about his search for information on the Oakland County Child Killer.

Feb 27, 2019
Episode 7 - The Blue Gremlin

Publications about the death of 11 year old Timothy King prominently featured the fact that the suspect was driving a blue Gremlin. Nina talks to Tim's brother, Chris King, about the accuracy, origination, and importance of this detail.

Feb 22, 2019
Episode 6 - Valerie Bishop

On February 2, 1977 10 year old Valerie Bishop was beaten, raped, murdered and left in the snow next to an abandoned house. While an arrest was made, the charges were dismissed.

Despite her murder happening in the middle of the Oakland County Child Killings, the task force declined to work on her case.

Jan 30, 2019
Episode 5 - Kristine Mihelich

On January 2, 1977 10 year old Kristine Mihelich stopped by Hartfield Bowling lanes before heading to 7-11 where she purchased a magazine, some candy and a drink.

Then Kristine disappeared.

Jan 17, 2019
Episode 4 - Jill Robinson

This is the mid-season finale of Don't Talk to Strangers. The Robinson family thought leaving Detroit for the suburbs would keep them safe. Not long after the move Jill Robinson begins having nightmares, horrific dreams of being shot. Until days before Christmas when she disappears, and the day after Christmas Jill is found murdered, shot in the head. Coincidence or premonition?

Dec 12, 2018
Episode 3 - Jane Allan

In the summer of 1976, 13 year old Jane Allan is abducted. Local media reports on her as a runaway who met an unfortunate end, but Jane had not run away when she was abducted. Local media used Jane's history as a former runaway and her tragic death to strike fear in children and spread the message that bad things happen to you if you run away from home.

Nov 28, 2018
Episode 2 - Mark Stebbins

Episode two explores the disappearance and murder of 12-year-old Mark Stebbins from Ferndale. He was last seen near Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue. His body would be left in a public area near the side of 10 Mile Road in Southfield.

While his death is the first case attributed to the Oakland County Child Killer, the smothering death of Mark Stebbins remains unsolved.


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Nov 14, 2018
Episode 1 - The Babysitter Murders

The “Babysitter Murders” is a series of three murders, one in Wayne County, one in Macomb County and one in Oakland County.

Two of the victims were babysitting young children when they were assaulted and murdered.

Law enforcement would go on to close all three cases.


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Oct 31, 2018
Introducing Don't Talk to Strangers

Introducing Don't Talk to Strangers - a long form podcast about the Oakland County child murders.

Oct 27, 2018