Dan’s Story

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I feel like I have been part of something significant this weekend. Bright and early Saturday morning, at 8am, I met Dan Rassier and Kevin the-tire-track-guy at Panera in St. Cloud. The two of them had never met before and were anxious to hear each other’s story, “straight from the horse’s mouth.” What I thought would be an hour long conversation turned into a two hour conversation, and then a three hour conversation. And lo and behold, I wasn’t the one doing any of the talking.

These two men have been put through the wringer. Police and the media seem to have pitted them against each other over the past nine years, stirring up suspicion where none previously existed. So, it’s no surprise they seemed a bit guarded with their words as we began our conversation. But, as they began talking and answering each other’s questions, the cloud of suspicion seemed to lift, and a willingness to share information soon emerged.

Above all, we share a common goal. We want to find out what happened to Jacob. Our hope is that if we can put the facts out there, in order, exactly as they occurred, maybe someone can add to the story. And maybe that someone will have just the piece that will finally solve this 23 year old puzzle.

So, here we go. Let’s start with Dan.

Dan Rassier lives with his parents on the family farm. Their driveway is across the street from the scene of the abduction. Here’s a map from one of my previous posts:

Map of Wetterling abduction

As it happens, Dan’s parents are away on a European vacation, so he is home alone for the week. After teaching a private saxophone lesson earlier that morning, Dan decides to spend his day organizing his extensive record collection. (I wondered why that would be an all-day affair, so I asked him exactly how extensive his record collection was. “Hundreds?” I asked. “Thousands,” he replied. It turns out he has crate after crate of old 33 RPM albums.)

So, after his saxophone student leaves, Dan settles in for a long day of typing. He sits at a desk in his bedroom and decides to open the window because it’s a beautiful fall day… unseasonably warm, with a forecasted high near 70 degrees. He types. And types. And types.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a big tan-colored car (possibly a 1972-1978 Monte Carlo with a white vinyl top) comes racing down the driveway. When it reaches the farmyard, the car whips a u-turn (dust flying everywhere, like a stunt car), and goes racing back out of the driveway. He has never seen anything like this happen at their farm before.

Dan isn’t exactly sure what the make/model of the car was, nor is he exactly sure if it had a white vinyl top, but he’s very certain about the color… tan/amber. The car pictured here is a 1978 Monte Carlo that I grabbed off the Internet.

MonteCarlo-1978

As early afternoon yields to late afternoon, Dan decides to take a break from his typing and go for a jog. (Note, Dan is an avid runner and still participates in several races each year.) He takes off through the back fields and heads toward the Del-Win Ballroom which is located immediately north and a bit east of his property. (In those days, the neighborhood that existed just north of Dan’s property was not there; it was all woods at that time.) There was a Polka Fest taking place at the Del-Win that day, and the place was packed.

After running through the Del-Win parking lot and taking note of the Polka Fest, now in full swing, Dan cuts back over to 91st Avenue and heads toward home. He remembers stopping at the farm mailbox and picking up the paper, then continuing down the driveway toward his house. Nothing is out of the ordinary. It’s a beautiful day.

FormerDelWinBallroomLocation

After 23 years, Dan is a bit vague on what time he returned from his jog, but he assumes he showered and probably made something to eat for supper before returning to his typing. At any rate, it’s dark out when he hears his dog, Smokey, start to bark (Smokey is an outside dog). The window is still open, and Dan hears a car coming up his driveway. He shuts off his light so he can see who it is. He’s a little unnerved, wondering if it’s the same car he saw earlier in the day.

It’s a different car this time. This one is small and dark – possibly dark blue or black. It pulls in and makes a u-turn in exactly the same spot as the previous car, and while it’s not moving as fast and furious as that car, it’s still moving along at a pretty fast clip. In the passenger seat, Dan sees a woman, (or possibly a child) staring out the passenger window with his/her hands cupped over his/her eyes. (NOTE, Dan is the first to admit he’s a little fuzzy about his memory of the passenger staring out the car window. Very early in the investigation, within weeks of Jacob’s abduction, he agreed to be hypnotized to see if he could help uncover more information. He’s not sure if his memory of the woman/child in the car was a result of being hypnotized, or if this is something he recalled on his own.) Regardless, Dan is again certain about the color and size of the car… small and dark… possibly a small sedan or hatchback.

I asked Dan if this happens a lot… people turning around in his driveway. No, not really, he says. However, he explains that young couples used to park along their driveway all the time and “make-out.” It seems it was a “Lover’s Lane” of sorts. Often he or his parents would come home after dark and come upon cars parked in their driveway with people inside. They would never see the cars until the headlights came right up on them. (Keep this in mind as we re-visit the “getaway car theory” later in the story.)

Not long after the second car swings through and leaves, Dan gets ready for bed and goes to sleep. He has to work in the morning, so he assumes the time was around 10pm.

He is awakened by the sound of Smokey, the dog, barking again. I ask him whether he heard any sirens go screaming past his house, and he says no, he never heard any sirens. (There may be an explanation for this later in Kevin’s story.) The dog continues to bark, so Dan finally decides to get up and see what’s going on. He looks out the west bedroom window (which faces up the hill toward the woods), and sees several flashlights shining up by the woodpile. He’s concerned that people are stealing wood, so he decides to investigate further and heads downstairs. He leaves the light off and steps outside. Smokey the dog is still barking like crazy and he sees that there are actually SEVERAL people with flashlights down by his woodpile… and they’re not kids. He realizes he’s outnumbered, and decides to call 911.

The 911 operator tells Dan a child has been abducted at the end of his driveway and that the people with flashlights are cops searching for the missing child.

When Dan learns this information, he does NOT go back to bed. He got dressed, grabbed a flashlight, and went outside to see if he could help. I asked him if he talked to any of the police officers that night and he said, “Yes, I spoke to an officer on the road, up the hill. I didn’t know who he was for 23 years.” He explains that it was just last December when he went in to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department to request to look at the affidavit they used to execute the search warrant in 2010. He spoke to Sheriff’s Deputy Bruce Bechtold who told Dan he was the officer he had spoken to on the road that night. He remembered seeing Dan walking up the hill with a flashlight in hand. (This was never reported before, and proves that Dan was, indeed, home that night.) They speak briefly, and Dan offers to search the outbuildings on his property.

He heads back down the road/driveway and searches the outbuildings. Every one of them. You would think there would be cops everywhere, but Dan said there were not. A helicopter was searching the woods and fields around his house, but as far as he knows, there were no cops who came down into the yard all night… just the few up by the woodpile earlier.

Dan doesn’t know what more he can do, and he realizes he has to work in the morning. It’s very late, he’s tired, and he decides to go back to bed.

Stay tuned. I’ll share Kevin’s story next time.

Read next chapter

18 Comments

  1. Hi Joy, and thanks for sharing what Dan witnessed that night. I wonder if the second car seen that night was driven by the kidnapper? (and is it possible that the woman/child Dan saw looking out the car window was actually Jacob!?) Also, the description of the second car sounds kinda similar to the car that was used to abduct a boy in nearby Cold Spring, MN just 10 months prior to Jacob’s abduction (the car used in that crime was described as a dark blue, newer model four-door car similar to a Chevrolet Celebrity) I cant wait to read Kevin’s account of that night, and if you get the chance could you ask Kevin just how far he drove his car into the Rassier’s driveway before turning around?(unless you already asked him that). thanks!

  2. Beast that Feeds the Beast |

    The third photograph in this post is the armory, not the Del-Win Ballroom. The ballroom was across the road from the armory.

    The information provided by Dan should lay to rest the rather absurd theories that no vehicle was involved in the abduction, that the abductor was on foot, horseback, bicycle, etc., and that there were no tire tracks in the Rassier driveway to indicate use of a vehicle.

    If the second car was the abductor’s and the passenger was a woman, then the abductor had an accomplice.

    AUTHOR’S NOTE: Photo has been replaced with a Google Earth snapshot that shows the former location of the Del-Win Ballroom, and the St. Joseph Armory just across the road to the east.

  3. Joy,

    Thank you so much for this blog! I’ve kept Jacob’s case in the back of my mind all my adult life. Jacob’s abduction without a doubt impacted how I looked out for my own children.

    Having traveled to the St Cloud area for work on a regular basis, I have found myself conducting extensive research on Jacob’s abduction, and am greatly interested in reading your forthcoming blogs. I have driven by the abduction site several times, and have often thought about arranging a meeting with locals, via the Websleuths community. If you haven’t checked it out, it is well worth reading others’ tidbits of information and theories.

    Couple of things I am hoping that you have found out, or will be able to find out.
    1. What do you know about Matthew Feeney, a former St Joseph resident and youth minister, who was recently arrested for child molestation? I have read reports that suggest he was in the Rassier / Wetterling neighborhood very near the time of Jacob’s abduction.
    2. Published reports indicate that Jacob’s footprints, and the tire tracks, were noted at the 2nd pole up the driveway from the road. From photographs of the crime scene, I noticed that at the time there was a pole just a few feet east of the road, making the 2nd pole less than 1/2 up the Rassier driveway. However, today that pole by the road does not exist, and today’s 2nd pole is about 2/3 of the way up the driveway – considerably more distance away. This is significant, because Kevin said he simply turned around in the driveway – so there would be no reason it was his tracks so far up the driveway, especially if the 2nd pole referred to in published reports is TODAY’s 2nd pole, vs the 2nd pole in 1989.

    I do still travel to the St Could area on a regular basis, and would be interested in continuing research, if you are interested in sharing information?

    Thanks again!

  4. Awesome information Joy. I’m glad you were able to snag Dan & Kevin for interviews. An abductor leaving on foot isn’t absurd in itself, since there have been many cases where abductors have done so in the past; however, Dan seeing the second car makes the theory all the more feasible.

    I had a feeling the Cold Spring rapist might have had something to do with this (that voice was a dead giveaway) however, I still believe my original theory that this guy is a hunter &/or survivalist. If Jacob’s kidnapper is the same as “Jared’s”,then he may have been wearing the same clothes. He also seemed to find his way around that dark rural area quite quickly (& with a stocking cap over his face) ,so he may have had professional ( as in military) training to stalk. If he didn’t live there, maybe he worked there.

    I have a feeling that this guy is connected to the Rassier Family–perhaps indirectly. I only say that because, if this is the Cold Spring rapist, he oddly showed up at both places where Dan lived & worked. I’m wondering if The Rassier Family may have tried to assist someone who was down-on-their-luck, but unknowingly let a criminal into their midst. Funny how he *coincedentally* shows up when Robert & Rita are vacationing that week & when the Wetterlings are out of town for a party. Like I said, just too many *coincedences* to be true. Seems like the abductor was going to pull a Richard Allen Davis,walk right in & take off with Jake. Except the plan changed & the boys left the house instead. Maybe it was better that way,especially since the kids didn’t really know what other weapons this manic might have been concealing if he planned on breaking in. I agree with Jerry: Jacob was stalked–possibly for the whole 10 month period since “Jared’s” attack. That tells me this abductor was probably planning a more elaborate abduction with the inclusion of captivity. He wanted to “know ” who he was taking. Aaron & Trevor were only “collateral” to him,since he knew he wanted Jacob from the get go. Jake didn’t stand a chance against this guy with threats of potential harm against his brother & best friend. Poor baby.

    This guy was really into the soldier/hunter motif, so perhaps authorities should start looking at some of their beer-guzzling, deer-shootin’ buddies around town. He was/is a “Good Ol Boy” baby raper & should have gone down a long time ago. Not quite sure, but I’m wondering did this abductor have some strange attraction to Daniel Rassier. He seemed show up where Dan’s name was. I’m wondering were these innocent children used as vessels of violence for him to get Dan’s “attention”? Just something to ponder.

    Interesting that the abductor chose to wait until the boys returned from the store until he attacked. Also, Aaron alluded to the alleged kidnapper stalking them in the grass.Though he did say he wasn’t sure, it seems as if his gut instinct may have been correct if it really was the abductor watching for them. I guess he was ticked that his master plan didn’t work. The only thing that makes me hesitate on the car is the boys saying they didn’t see or hear any vehicles coming or going. Exactly how far away would the cars have to be parked for the boys not to at least seen tail lights or heard an engine running. I appreciate that they were frightened, but I’m not about to let that be confused with them being stupid.

    I hope that The Wetterlings can find Jake & reunite with him someday. They deserve to have both him & the answers they deserve.

    PS:Did anyone hear about the WCCO TV post where a person claimed to have seen the guy from the Cold Spring sketch—Twice— at a bar in Marquette,MN? Very interesting.

  5. I would also like to add that there have been many accusations of sexual abuse coming out of the local monastery near St. Joseph. My instinct all along has been that Jacob’s abductor was somehow connected to a local religious institution,which is probably why he has been so difficult to track. Let’s just say I wouldn’t exactly be shocked if this person attended either the Rassier’s or the Wetterling’s church.

    I suspect that Jacob’s kidnapping happened along the same lines as the Elizabeth Smart abduction: This person was someone that was only vaguely familiar with, but not necessarily that close to the family. Perhaps, like Brian “Emmanuel” Mitchell, they were hired by someone in the local area to do an odd job or 2. They may have gained trust due to potentially being referred by the pastor/priest at the church, so there was no reason to be suspect.

    I’m wondering if Jacob actually ran into this person at the ice rink earlier that day & had a brief conversation with them. I’m curious to know if Jerry questioned his son about where he disappeared to & if so, did Jacob tell him, or remain quiet. Unfortunately, sometimes children don’t tell their parents everything. If Jacob was speaking to this “stranger” & knew he wasn’t supposed to, perhaps he kept it to himself to avoid repercussion.

    I recall that a.) Jerry felt at that time his son was in some type of danger & b.) Aaron & Trevor didn’t recognize the abductor’s voice as someone familiar to them. He may have been to Jacob, however (from the rink), hence the mask. Plus, if he had originally planned a home invasion abduction (sorry to keep beating this drum, but I do NOT believe this person just *coincedentally* appeared when Patty & Jerry left town), he couldn’t have the kids ID him. Since Jake was abducted, he can’t speak on who this monster was/is obviously.

    I’m also curious about what types of “tips” the investigators received on the Cold Spring rapist/abductor sketch. I can’t help but be a bit skeptical about how the authorities handled this investigation from the jump. I’m wondering if they received something substantial on their “Good-Ol-Boy” deer hunting rapist; but because he looks like “one of them”, & someone they’d have a drink with at the bar, they’re in a type of denial. After all, back in ”89, who really on that police force would *want* to associate that “type” of guy with the possible rape & kidnapping of this baby boy? I mean, think about it really.

    Just speculation, but I tend to side with the children’s witness accounts in these types of crimes. I believe that Aaron Larson’s instincts were correct: This abductor was possibly stalking the kids BEFORE they left for Tom Thumb. If so, this lends itself to the theory that this abductor was stalking Jacob for longer than just a day or 2. This possibly went on for months prior to his abduction. Elizabeth Smart was stalked by “Emmanuel” for several months prior to hers. I don’t see why Jacob’s kidnapping would be any different.

    I seriously hope for the family’s sake, this information that both Dan & Kevin have disclosed can be shared with the public. Perhaps, somehow, this can lead to answers. I have a feeling that the only way Jake’s case can be resolved is by ordinary citizens telling the TRUTH. Unfortunately, the police don’t really seem to be headed in the right direction.

  6. 12/1/89 St. Paul Pioneer Press, page 1B — Late Thursday, FBI agents in St. Cloud were sent to Monticello to interview a 15-year-old boy who told authorities that a man had tried to order him into a car.
    The incident occurred about 7:30 p.m. as the youth, done with basketball practice, was walking across the parking lot of a mini-mall on Wright County 75, a half-mile northeast of Interstate 94, Gigler said.
    The boy said that as he walked past a parked car, a man inside the vehicle asked the boy if he needed a ride. The boy said no, and the man then ordered the boy to get in the car. The boy again said no, the man repeated the demand and the boy ran away.
    The car was described as a gray-colored, large older model with a landau top. The car’s left front hubcap was reportedly missing.

    11/21/1989 Minneapolis Star Tribune, page 7B — The FBI released new details Monday of a car reportedly involved in the attempted abduction of a Wisconsin boy, and said there are striking similarities between that case and the abduction of Jacob Wetterling. The car is believed to be a 1984 or 1985 tan four-door Lincoln Town Car with rectangular “opera” windows for backseat passengers. The vehicle also had rusted fender skirts over the rear tires and rust on the rear bumper.
    A 13-year-old boy in Roberts, Wis., near the Minnesota border, reported seeing the car as he was leaving basketball practice at school Friday.
    “He saw this car parked on a driveway leading to the schoolyard,” said FBI agent Bryon Gigler. “He saw it for some time as he was walking up to it. He heard the (power) window go down. A dome light came on.
    “He saw a guy in a black ski mask. He (the man) yelled at him in a commanding voice, `Get in the car.’

    Photos of 1984 – 1985 Lincoln Town Car:

    http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/69442/fullsize/
    http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2395/2741/5986370001_large.jpg
    http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2395/2741/5986370003_large.jpg
    http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2395/2741/5986370013_large.jpg
    http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2395/2741/5986370023_large.jpg
    http://img.favcars.com/lincoln/town-car/lincoln_town_car_1985_pictures_1_b.jpg
    http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=30761387
    http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=30761411
    http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=30761427
    http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=30761456
    http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=30761471
    http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=30761487
    http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=30761499

  7. From reading this ( & even before), plus Dan’s story, my gut feeling is that a local police officer (as in Stearns County Sheriff’s Department) is the perpetrator here. Dan has made it quite clear that the police have outright lied & tried to “change” the testimony of what he saw that night. I can only guess why (sarcasm).

    These guys aren’t going to lie to protect the old perv up the street—but they probably would for one of their own. I am not buying that they “didn’t recognize” who the “medical cop” was with a wooden nickel. It’s a pile of straight bunk. Could you imagine the horrific press & panic by the locals if it was discovered a Five-O did this crime (or these CRIMES, I should say)? It would have been a PR disaster. Alas, the ship’s cracks are getting deeper, hence the sinking.

    I wouldn’t exactly clutch the pearls in a state of shock if the cops already know/knew who this wacko is/was in their department, but don’t have the guts to arrest him. Many police departments are notorious for a “Code of Silence”. This case probably is one of these. If so, it’s not going to be the SCSD that gets this cat arrested, it’s going to be ordinary citizens recognizing him & speaking out against the silence.

    Note: This abductor (Who I believe was also the culprit in Cold Spring) seemed to have a weird attraction to young athletes. Jacob’s youth hockey team was sponsored one year by the St. Cloud Police Department. Just a guess, but I think that how Jacob knew this guy–from team sponsorship. If it was a cop, you could bet your bottom dollar that he was most likely from the SCPD.

    Jerry Wetterling said he was struck by panic when his son disappeared at the rink for that brief time. It could have been as a result of his son speaking to his abductor. Even if Jacob’s team mates saw him speaking to this man, if he was a person in a position of trust, no one would have been the wiser. The Wetterlings knew this guy & I also feel Dan Rassier (without realizing it) may have known him too. I don’t think it was an “accident” that the abductor struck where Dan lived & worked.

    I just keep going back to Dan’s story. The cops seem to be spreading their lies a little too thin at this point. It’s sad, absurd & shameful. Time to give it up guys.

    Interesting post above about the dome light in the car from Wisconsin. The abductors who kidnapped Johnny Gosch (the Iowa paperboy taken in 1982) used their dome lights as “codes” to alert one another before the crime. By the way, the day before his abduction, Johnny was followed around by a COP at a football game. There were multiple kidnappings/attempted kidnappings of this sort in the midwest during the 1980’s. It’s not impossible that Jacob was a victim of a similar child prostitution group—with some cops associated with it, hence the silence.

    Patty Wetterling keeps saying that she never had the feeling that Jacob died & still feels biologically “connected” to him. He could possibly still be alive & in prostitution.

    Just something to think about.

  8. Camille Grace |

    I just did a Google search on the pedophile Michael Weber whom the last poster spoke of, and I was shocked to see how closely he resembles the sketch of the Cold Springs abductor, who might also have been Jacob’s abductor. See:
    http://www.andersonadvocates.com/Files/599/Partial-timeline-of-Michael-Weberpdf
    and
    http://saintautumn.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/jacob-wetterling-abductor-sketch.jpg

  9. What about Matthew D. Fenney? He has numerous offenses against children and was in the neighborhood that night. Why hasn’t he been given more attention as a suspect?

  10. Also the more I learn about the Munks the more I start to believe they/matthew fenney could have had something to do with it.

    It does appear the police and fbi DO NOT want this case solved. If it is it will more than likely shed light on how poorly they handled it or a major slip up…or that one of their own was involved but let’s face it people…20 some years and we got nothing. No physical evidence, no solid lead, no piece of clothing…zilch.

    Final thought of the night, abductor would have HAD to been a stranger to the boys. Why would he ask their ages? If he’d been stalking Jacob he would have a good idea how old he was based on his school and what level of hockey he was playing.

  11. Patrick – regarding your comment that the abductor had to be a stranger – I do no agree with you. Remember this abduction was a pretty well thought out crime. The abductor may have known who Jacob was, and asked for their ages as a way to avoid detection as someone known by the boys.

    It’s possibly a “telling” point that the abductor looked at Aaron’s face but did not look at Jacob’s face before letting Aaron and Trevor go. To me – that’s an indication that he either knew who the boys were – or that he saw them together at the Tom Thumb store, and he “knew” which boy he wanted.

  12. Camille Grace |

    Just noticed that the picture of Michael Weber that I posted a link to has been taken down, so I’m going to try to post the picture again. This is the only picture I’ve seen of him in which he is not smiling, and it is also the picture that most closely resembles the Cold Spring abductor:
    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRRorUwnTbVIfV5wNF7l-peeINA-t-
    b7QadxUI5sqHViSwA5R9pDA
    http://saintautumn.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/jacob-wetterling-abductor-sketch.jpg

  13. All you guys are overcomplicating this crime. Its really not a well thought out plan its a matter of odds. They saw this guy in the area before in a car similar to a catalina but I actually think it was a monte carlo( I think I can trust Dan’s judgement purely on the fact that he has a college education that he obtained outside the state of Minnesota and not in a religious institution unlike the sheriff or anyone else involved.) Stalking for one isn’t really complicated cops do it all the time they call it a stake out. Sit in a car and watch someone from a distance (not really that difficult to pull off). As for the other abductions I’m gonna call bs that they are related except for Jared’s. See in Jared’s abduction the man stopped for directions to a house that was 4 houses down from Jared. I am assuming that he wanted Jared to get in willingly given that the house was only 4 houses down and Jared was headed home anyway. But he didn’t so the man got out of the car and grabbed him (Not point a gun at him and order him into the car). He learned from Jared’s abduction that all that extra complicated crap was unnecessary so instead of pulling by in a car he just pops out with a gun. Also there is a 10 month break between the two why would the space between abductions get smaller after Jacob’s especially when the heat is really on. Why ask there ages? Same reason he told Jared he was headed to the red carpet. Because he knows that this information will be reported and stupid people will only be able to look at this information and nothing else. As if a rapist is going to be honest with his victims. Hasn’t anyone ever heard of pedos tricking kids into looking for a lost dog. There really isn’t a dog. See in Jared’s abduction the abductor wanted him to think he lived around the area. In Jacob’s abduction, he wanted the boys to think it was random. If he had grabbed Jacob and told the boys to run, for one maybe they wouldn’t and two we would all know that he was in fact looking for Jacob and it wasn’t just a random pick. Notice how a lot people just can’t get over that whole selection process. Two were the same age and one was only a year younger. Wouldn’t a pedo want the youngest especially when its not like there is much of an age difference anyway. And why even look at their faces. Devlin didn’t even see Shawn Hornbeck’s face when he abducted him hell that guy didn’t even pull up to him he just ran into him with his truck. Lets face it the majority of pedos out there are lazy and really don’t even care who they are abducting just as long as they fit some sort of age range. Yet this guy doesn’t do that. He looks for the older of the group and actually seems to care more about their face at least more than any ordinary pedo would. I’m starting to wonder if he only goes for young boys do to the fact that they would be easier for a guy his size to intimidate and brainwash. That perhaps the reason for his selection wasn’t for how they looked then but what they look like now. I don’t have a full understanding of child psychology but from what I gather from the cases of abductions that were solved in the past years its apparently easier to brainwash a kid then like an older teen or adult(Cleveland case the women escaped on their own.) Where as in the cases where the victims were young kids they all were found due to others despite being free to pretty much go where ever they wanted without even being around their abductor and in Hornbeck’s case even being stopped by the cops without selling out his abductor. And as for Rassier not waking up or whatever and possibly being paranoid about someone stealing wood did anyone ever think that maybe he was stoned at the time. I’m not trying to make fun of him or anything, but he lives with his parents, he’s a music teacher, he went to college, and he was in his 30s. I mean he’s still an active teacher he’d never admit that but come on let’s be real for two seconds and use some damn common sense just for once please. Also everyone please listen to how he talks and compare that to what you think a man with a deep gravely voice sounds like. Its not him it never was him and if they ever heard him talk they should have never spent as much time as they did on him. I just don’t get why anyone would sit back and let them waste time on Rassier when Jacob is missing that is truly unforgivable and those people will have to live with that for the rest of their wretched lives. Because if you listen to him talk you will hear what I hear and you will realize that they basically sat and talked to the boys Jared Aaron and Trevor and ignored them. Ignored their description did their own thing. Everyone involved did this.

  14. Bring Him Home |

    Whoever abducted Jacob knew that the boys would be walking past the last house on that street on the way home, before reaching the Wetterling residence. The abducter either saw them walking past that spot on their way there, or he knew where Jacob lived. However, the abducter did not seem to know much about the boys, since he asked all of their ages and then looked at their faces before selecting Jacob. The most obvious person of interest would be Dan Rassier, however, he doesn’t really fit the profile and he seems genuine and non-deceptive in his interviews.

  15. First off, I want to thank Joy for this blog. I was only a couple years older than Jacob when he was abducted in ’89, and grew up in southern MN. This case has always haunted me, and I am so glad that we are having conversations 25+ years later. I truly believe there is still hope in solving this crime…..someone out there knows something.

    I want to chime-in on a detail in Dan’s statement about that night, and it’s something that just doesn’t make sense to me. I have read other articles, blog entries, media reports, etc., but none seem to address this detail. Dan says (according to above) that he is awaken by his dog barking and sees people around the woodpile (the police) and decides to call 911. Why on earth didn’t the police notify Dan that they were there in the first place? I mean, a crime was committed at the end of his driveway, so why wouldn’t they knock on his door and say, “Hello, we are the SJPD and there has just been a crime. May we ask you some questions?” It seems (according to Dan’s above statement) that Dan was the one that initiated the whole conversation with police. Doesn’t anyone else see this as odd? Dan says that you would’ve thought there would be cops everywhere, but there wasn’t. Why was Dan allowed to search his outbuildings by himself unescorted? If a crime happened in my yard, would the police allow me to do my own personal search possibly contaminating evidence? Maybe I am reading too much into this detail, but it just seems very odd to me that an abduction just occurred at the end of his driveway, and no one seems to care where he is going, where he is searching, and hey, if you want to go back in your house and go to bed, that’s fine.

    I AM NOT saying Dan is guilty or innocent of any crime. I believe he has done his best to explain details he has seen/heard or remembers. But I have to say that the above details of events on searching the property the couple hours after the abduction seem, well, pretty sloppy.

    Why wasn’t Dan approached that night? Why not ask to be invited into the home to ask a few questions? I mean if a child were abducted at the end of MY driveway that I wasn’t aware of, I would think that there would be a knock on my door. According to DR’s above timeline, it was after 10pm when he himself called 911. You would think someone in LE would’ve contacted him first by then.

  16. This post is a couple of years old, but I keep coming back to all the details here (thank you, Joy). I’m curious as to why Dan Rassier is so certain the first car he saw in the afternoon had something to do with Jacob’s abduction that night. When he took his run later on, he went through the Del-Win parking lot, noting that a party was going on there. Couldn’t the driver of the first car have been turning around in order to get back to the Del-Win if he/she had missed the correct turn? I’d be interested in knowing if he happened to look around the parking lot as he ran through in order to see if that particular car was there. Who knows why some people drive crazily, maybe they had been drinking? I don’t see how it relates (with such certainty on Dan’s part) necessarily to an abduction later on that evening. Odd that they were in the same spot, yes, I will give him that. But his level of certainty makes me think there is just more to it than that.

  17. And now the truth comes out…
    I feel for Dan Rassier and his trial by media

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  1. The Jacob Wetterling Abduction: Part 2 | Saint Autumn - [...] ( Some important details about what Dan witnessed the day Jacob was kidnapped can be found here:  http://www.joybaker.com/2013/02/23/dans-story-2/  .…

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