October 1st, 1983. The man hands the traumatized little boy a five dollar bill as he ushers him from the car. “Remember, don’t tell anyone,” Arch Sloan reminds the child as he drove off.
“He is a quiet prisoner, doing his time and not problematic at all,” states the deputy warden of the Brooks Correctional Facility, the prison in which Arch Stone currently resides.
With only three minor misconduct infractions on his record since 1998,
it’s not surprising Sloan is adept at doing time—he’s been incarcerated in the Michigan prison system,
serving dual life sentences,
As a free man, however, Arch Sloan was the very essence of “problematic;”
a lifelong pedophile, his first sex-related conviction occurred in 1959, at the age of 18,
with a charge of gross indecency with a male.
Further charges, for sodomy, corrupting the morals of a minor, and sexual assault followed in 1970 and 1978.
His final arrest, in October of 1983, occurred after a co-worker allowed his son to spend the night with Sloan
in anticipation of an early morning fishing trip.
During the visit the wily Sloan challenged the child to a footrace;
if the child won Sloan would give him a dollar, and if the child lost he would perform a sex act on Sloan.
The child lost.
He was subsequently subjected to a sexual assault at the hands of Sloan, then aged 41.
Later that evening Sloan plied the child with alcohol in his trailer at the abandoned Packard Plant complex
and then raped him. The next morning Sloan drove the boy to a gas station and, after strenuously warning him
to keep silent about the abuse, handed the youngster a fiver and sent him on his way.
Sloan’s victim in this instance was ten years old,
the same age as Kristine Mihelich.
Born in the oddly-named borough of California, Pennsylvania and raised in Detroit,
Sloan dropped out of Cooley High School in the 10th grade and worked as a car mechanic and tow truck operator.
He moved back to Pennsylvania a few years later but returned to Michigan
after completing his first stint in prison in 1961.
Hired as a driver for the Hemphill Towing Company, Sloan joined his family in the Oakland County city of Southfield—the city’s motto, ironically,
is The Center of it All.
Southfield, of course, happens to be the place where
the sexually violated and scrupulously cleaned
body of first known OCCK victim Mark Stebbins
was discovered on February 19th, 1976.
Due to his extensive history of pedophilia and his proximity to the Stebbins dumpsite Sloan was an early suspect in the OCCK crimes.
He allowed the police to search his car, a red 1966 Pontiac Bonneville,
but nothing was found at the time which conclusively tied him to Mark’s murder.
The upholstery scrapings were saved, however, although according to Channel 7 Action News
human hairs found on the Bonneville’s backseat were mislabeled as animal hairs.
A recent re-investigation unearthed these mismarked hairs in the possession of the Michigan State Police and the strands were subsequently submitted for DNA testing.
Lo and behold, the hairs were a mitochondrial DNA match to three hairs which had been found on OCCK victims—a strand retrieved from Mark Stebbins’ clothes,
one from Tim King’s underpants, and another which had been retrieved from Tim’s nasal cavity.
These hairs are the first pieces of forensic evidence which definitively link any of the OCCK crimes,
science finally confirming the long-held belief of Oakland County detectives that
the crimes were the work of a single predator.
With this hair match and Sloan’s sordid history of pedophilia it would seem the identity of the Babysitter had finally been revealed,
nearly forty years after the still-warm corpse of his last-known victim was discovered nestled in a shallow roadside ditch.
As in all matters related to the OCCK case, however, a simple solution pirouettes from law enforcement’s grasp—the strands of hair
from Arch Sloan’s Bonneville may match those found on Babysitter victims,
but the hairs found in his vehicle do not in fact match the DNA of Arch Sloan.
So to whom do the mystery hairs belong?
Who was riding around in the big red jalopy of a convicted pedophile in the late 1970s?
The police continue to investigate, and the OCCK victims’ families continue to wait for answers.
One thing is certain—detectives will have to identify this mystery passenger without any help from Arch Sloan.
The longtime prisoner, described by a psychiatrist as being “only capable of sexual satisfaction with small children,”
has apparently internalized some of the convict code in his three decades behind bars—Ach Sloan, OCCK suspect,