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When August Busch IV Beat a Manslaughter Rap

Holy Ted Kennedy. Nothing suspicious about a dead 27 year-old woman being found in your home. I’m quoting the cops. This makes at least two dead women in the Busch portfolio.

from July 7, 1984: Brewery heir August A. Busch IV of St. Louis has been cleared of the possibility of facing charges of manslaughter and leaving-the- scene in connection with a fatal automobile accident in Arizona late last year.

The attorney for Pima County said in a statement late Friday that the seven-month investigation had ‘produced adequate circumstantial evidence’ that Busch, 20, had been driving a 1984 black Corvette that had crashed. The one-car crash killed a companion, Michele C. Frederick, 22. The crash occurred last Nov. 13 outside Tucson, Ariz.

But the county attorney declined to prosecute because Busch’s blood alcohol level at the estimated time of the accident had been below the legal level for intoxication in Arizona. Witnesses who saw Busch and Miss Frederick leave a bar in Tucson shortly before the accident said Busch had had some drinks there but did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol when he had left about 1 a.m.

Physical evidence at the scene showed that the car had been traveling at 45 mph when the accident occurred — 20 miles above the posted speed limit in the suburban area. But this by itself was insufficient to support a charge of vehicular homicide, according to the statement, written by Jim Howard, chief deputy of the attorney’s office.

Busch is the son of August A. Busch III, president and chairman of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. Young Busch was a student at the University of Arizona at the time of the accident. He suffered a fractured skull in the crash and was found six hours later in a dazed and bloodied condition at his home, four miles from the scene. He later underwent surgery for the skull fracture.

The county attorney’s office said Busch’s head injuries had supported his claim of amnesia for events immediately preceding the accident and the accident itself. No one saw the accident. Miss Frederick worked at a nightspot frequented by students.

Authorities found Busch’s sportscar overturned on a winding creek road the morning after. Miss Frederick’s body was thrown clear of the vehicle.

Saliva, blood and hair samples were taken from Busch in the investigation. The county attorney’s office said it had found no evidence that Busch had taken any drugs.

‘The attorney’s office considers the case closed, unless further evidence develops which justifies a re-evaluation, ‘ the statement said.

Howard said the investigation had taken so long because of the ‘high profile’ of Busch and his family. ‘We wanted to leave no stone unturned before we made a final determination of this case, ‘ he said.

Delays also were caused, he said, by the Busch family’s lawyers who fought the taking of hair and fiber samples from young Busch. The samples were taken to place him at the scene of the accident.


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