The Year of the Babysitter – Excerpt

Several readers have written and asked me if I had ever written everything anything along the lines of a novel about my father or anything else for that matter.

Well, I haven’t written about a novel or book about the Old Man, yet. However, I have written a literary thriller that fictionalizes the infamous, unsolved Oakland County Child Killings.

The killings took place in an 18-month period that lasted from 1976-78. In my fictionalization, which I am calling The Year of the Babysitter, the dates have been changed to the mid-80s, hence the white mercury Sable instead of an AMC Gremlin (for those of you that remember the actual case.).

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter.

He waited in white the Mercury Sable. Slowly, he pushed the lighter into its heater and waited for it to pop out, all the while keeping his eyes out front, looking for his next Pod.

“Hey, kid. Come over here,” he rolled down the window, letting the cool November air in. The Pod was dressed for soccer game. The Birmingham/Bloomfield Soccer League.

Anyone who was anyone had their pods in this league. Bob thought. He played for the Bombers. Fucking rich. What’s wrong with baseball? Football. American sports. No. The fucking rich, man. Communists. Teach the kids to play a European game. What’s wrong with baseball?


“Hey. What’s your name?” He asked.


“Ricky, do you have a game?”

“Yes sir. At Poppleton Park.”

He could have reached out and grabbed the pod but that’s how he almost got caught before. Jesus, she screamed. No, he would have to talk this Pod into the car.

“Poppleton Park is over a mile away. That’s a long walk.”

“Yes sir, it is.”

“My cousin has a game at Poppleton Park too.”

“When?” The Pod asked.

“In an hour or so, Ricky.”

“Really? Does he play for the Bobcats,” The Pod was very excited now. He could tell. He slammed his cleats up and down on the pavement.

“Ricky, RICKY!!!!!”

Shit. It had a friend. He only wanted one, not two. He wanted this one. He was going to have to make a move, now. Get the fucking Pod into the car, man.

“Ricky, is that your friend?”

“Yes sir.”

“Bob. Call me Bob.”

“Ricky, come in here! They have the Comic Book!!!!!”

“I’ll be there in a minute, Dave. Relax. Jeez.” Dave went back into the store with the comic in his hand.

“What comic book Ricky?”

“The new X-Men.”

“My cousin likes the X-Men too.”

“Who’s your cousin?”


“Tom Osborne is your cousin?”

“You know him Ricky?”

“Know him, he’s one of my best friends.”

“You go to school together?”

“Yes at Meadow Lake.”

“Is your friend going to the game as well?”

“Sure is Bob.”

“What position do you play?”

“We both play defense.”

“Listen Ricky, I’m new to the area. Why don’t I give you and your friend a lift over to the field?”

“I don’t know,” the Pod didn’t move back.

“I have no idea where I’m going. Get in the car and you guys can show me how to get there.”

“I’m not supposed to, you know. There is this guy going around killing kids.”

“Yeah, I’ve read about him. But I’m Tom’s cousin. I just need to get to the game.”

“Well, what about my friend?” A police cruiser from Birmingham drove by then, destination wherever they go. Shit. Fuck. I have to get the Pod into the car NOW.

“Get in and we’ll shoot around the block and pick him up. It’ll only take a minute.”

“I don’t know…”

The cop had noticed him now. They were a block away and would be coming back around in two minutes.

“When does the game start?”


“It’s 3:17 now. If you get in, we’ll pick up your friend and we’ll be there by 3:30.”

“That would be in time for warm-ups!”

“Sure thing. Get in,” he opened the passenger door lock. The Pod stopped for a second and thought about getting in. His head down, looking at the gray pavement. Jesus, kid. Get in the fucking car.

“We’ll, I guess it’s okay. I mean you’re Tom’s cousin and all.”

“Right,” he opened the car door and the Pod walked around the front of the car. Good, good. The Pod had been trained right. That made it so much easier when the time came. They always wanted to be good and would do whatever they were told.

“Wow. You have a really cool car Bob.”

“Thanks Ricky. Buckle your seat belt.”

“Yes sir.”

He pulled out into the traffic on Maple Road and signaled for a left onto Adams. It was his sixth Pod.



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