Francis Duffield Shelden

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Francis Duffield Shelden
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Born(1928-09-05)September 5, 1928
Grosse Point, Michigan
DiedJuly 9, 1996(1996-07-09) (aged 67)
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Msc in Geology
  • PhD
Alma mater
  • Yale University
  • Wayne State University
  • Philanthropist
  • Businessmen

Francis Duffield Shelden (1928-1996) was born in Grosse Point, Michigan from a wealthy family. He attended Millbrook Prep School in New York and graduated from Yale in 1950. He also served in the Michigan Air National Guard during the Korean War. He was involved in the real estate and oil business and was a philanthropist. He gained notoriety from leading a criminal pornography ring on North Fox Island in Michigan.

Early life

He was descended from Michigan Governor Russell A. Alger whom also served as Secretary of War as well as many other prominent Detroit's in the medical and business community. At Yale he was active in numerous student groups which were: Track, Tennis, Skiing, Dramatics, Community Service, Literary Magazine, Yearbook, Glee Club, Squash, and Student Council. He then attended Wayne State University and earned a Masters of Science in Geology and took classes toward a Ph.D..[1]

North fox island

Shelden had bought North Fox Island and ran a boy's camp called Brother Paul's Children's Mission which was a front for making child pornography which was sold abroad on the international and national black market. He also was a big brother in the Ann Arbor YMCA's Big Brother program and found victims that way. The island was 20 plus miles off shore so there was no easy escape and had a small landing strip for planes which he had installed. The known years of operation were from 1976 to 1977. Possible Oakland County Child Killer Christopher Busch was a known subscriber to the ring.[2][3]

Life abroad

He fled in 1976 to France before he could be arrested and then he married a French citizen in order to obtain citizenship, her name is Aline Gisele Gobbi. He then moved to Amsterdam where continued his activities unhindered from U.S. authorities.[4][5]


He died on the 9th of July, 1996 in Amsterdam from unknown causes. The Amsterdam police search his residence for evidence after his death and the disposition of his remains is unknown.


  1. "Francis Duffield "Frank" Shelden (1928-1996) -..."
  2. "True Crime Diary".
  3. [email protected], PATTI BRANDT BURGESS. "'Children of the Snow' uses DNA to shed light on cold Oakland County case". Traverse City Record-Eagle.
  4. Vela, Susan. "Father of Oakland County Child Killer victim waits for answers". Observer and Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies.
  5. Allen, Jeremy (14 February 2019). "Oakland County Child Killer docuseries chapter 1: North Fox Island". WDIV.

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