A few answers… many more questions

New here? Start from the beginning…

Thanks to everyone who has been following my Jacob story. It’s not an easy story to tell, and as we all know, it does not have a happy ending… at least not yet. But, my great hope is that by posting Dan’s and Kevin’s eyewitness accounts in their own words, the facts might lead to a tiny shred of information that could possibly help the case. And while there may never be a “happy” ending to this story, maybe someday there will at least be an “ending.” I guess that, in itself, would make me happy.

Now… here are some more questions I’ve received since my last post:

Why did Kevin decide to go all the way into the Rassier’s driveway instead of just backing up. Also, where did he turn around in relation to the light pole – did he go all the way around it, or did he do a 180 on the house side only, or the outbuilding side only?

Kevin drove all the way into Rassiers’ driveway because he didn’t realize it was a driveway. From 16th Avenue, the driveway actually looks like a dirt road. It’s a quarter mile long and goes down a hill before curving left behind the trees. The entire farm sits behind the trees, so you can’t even see the farm or house from the road. I’m attaching a photo that shows the view from 16th Avenue so you can see what I mean.

As for where Kevin turned around in relation to the light pole… first, I should mention that I mis-marked the location of the light pole in my previous post. (I have since fixed it in the map/photo.) According to Dan, the pole I had marked is actually a transformer. The light is on a pole which stands right next to the garage. The following photos show where Kevin and the other two cars turned around in the yard. All three turned in a counter-clockwise direction, yet the two cars Dan saw took a sharper turn, away from the garage/light. Kevin took a slower, more leisurely route in the big part of the driveway, closer to the light. And while none of them came directly into the light under Dan’s bedroom window, he said he still had a good view of the two cars he did see. In both cases, after the cars turned around, he hurried to a window on the opposite side of the house (the south side) and watched them zoom up the driveway. This was definitely out of the ordinary and he wanted to know who it was. He’d never seen any car drive like this in their driveway before.

RassierFarmAerialView_U-turns

Note, the above photo was taken in 1987 while Dan was flying over the property with a friend who is a pilot. I asked Dan about the buildings just to the left of the red arrows, which are no longer there. He said the larger one was a machine shed with a dirt floor that was used for storing farm equipment. The smaller one was his dad’s wood shop that had a cement floor. There’s also a small white outhouse to the east of the shop. Those buildings burned down in early June of 2009. I asked if they had been burned down intentionally, or if they had caught fire. He said they had caught fire, and though the fire marshall wasn’t able to determine the exact cause, they figure it most likely was an electrical fire. It started in the wood shop and spread quickly to the rest of the buildings. He said it definitely wasn’t intentional. The Rassiers lost a lot of machinery, antiques, wood shop machines, and several of his father’s projects.

Why didn’t Dan hear his dog barking to alert him to the car when Kevin was turning around in his driveway? The dog alerted him to the small car – why not the “big” car?

Dan assumes he probably DID hear Smokey barking when Kevin drove into the yard, but if he was already asleep, a few barks wouldn’t have woke him up. As for later… when the police were searching up by the woodpile… Smokey was going bananas. He would not let up, which is why Dan finally rousted himself out of bed to go see what was going on.

Smokey the dog. If he looks familiar, it may be because he makes several appearances in crime scene footage back in 1989.

Smokey the dog. If he looks familiar, it may be because he makes several appearances in crime scene footage back in 1989.

Media reports suggest there was a woman attendant at the Tom Thumb at the time of Jacob’s abduction. Kevin is saying it was a man. Was there also a woman working at the Tom Thumb when Kevin stopped by?

At the time Kevin and his girlfriend arrived at the Tom Thumb (she stayed in the car), the clerk on duty was a young man… possibly a high school or college kid. He didn’t see a woman in the store when he was there… just the clerk and the “medical cop.” However according to a February 2004 newscast from Fox 9 News, there was a female college student on duty when the skulky man was there leering at customers. In fact, it was her eyewitness description of the man that led to the release of the following sketch (see below). However, maybe her shift ended at 10pm and she was replaced by the young man? Or, maybe she was working in the back? Not sure. (Incidentally, I thought this man was never seen from again, but according to the same news report, the clerk stated that this man came to the Tom Thumb store two weeks to the day after the abduction and talked obsessively about Jacob, saying, “They’ll never find that boy.” The obvious question is, why didn’t the clerk take down his license plate at that time and/or report him to police? I would certainly like to speak with both of these clerks if they are willing to share their stories with me.)

Sketch of possible suspect

OK, moving on.

When I left off last time, it was the day after the abduction, Monday, October 23, 1989. Dan had been questioned by two detectives who showed up at Rocori Middle School to question him and search his car. Still, even after the hour-long interview, he assumed he was a witness, not a suspect.

As the week progressed, Kevin and Dan continued to go to work, as usual. Later in the week (Friday, most likely) Kevin decided to drive past the area where he’d seen the bikes to see what it looked like during the day. When he got to Rassiers’ driveway, he noticed crime tape around the area where the bikes had been, and saw a bunch of media vans down at the end of the road (by the curve that goes toward Wetterlings). He decided to just turn around in Rassiers’ driveway and leave (this time he DID just pull in and back up). As he was heading back north into town, he sees the “medical cop” from the Tom Thumb that night heading south down that same road. He knew it was the same guy because he was driving the same unmarked squad car that he’d seen in the parking lot that night. As the two cars pass each other, Kevin and the bomber-jacket-medical-cop-guy lock eyes and recognize each other. Kevin gets chills down his spine. To this day, he wonders why the guy didn’t turn around and pull Kevin over so he could question him about what he may have witnessed that night. (That is, if he really WAS a cop.)

Again, I wondered if the “medical cop” could have been Matt Feeney. I asked Kevin if he was sure the guy he’d seen at the Tom Thumb that night was NOT Feeney? I showed him the following picture of Matt Feeney, taken published two days after Jacob’s abduction, at a boys’ camp in northern Minnesota. In this picture, you’ll notice Matt Feeney does NOT have a beard. Kevin admits he can’t be sure. He remembers the guy being older… possibly in his early to mid 30s, whereas Feeney would have only been 21 years old at the time. However, he is quick to acknowledge that Feeney definitely looks older than 21 in this picture.

feeney_10-24-1989

The next day, Saturday, October 28, about 240 National Guard members, volunteers, and officers conducted an extensive ground search within several square miles around the abduction site. People searched on horseback, ATVs, and on foot. Three helicopters also assisted from the air. By this time, Dan’s parents were back from their European vacation, just in time for a full-out search of their home and property. This included an extensive search of their gravel pit, which (as we all know), was dug up again in 2010.

Dan was playing trumpet at a wedding that day, so he wasn’t home when police searched their house that afternoon. However, while he was there that morning, detectives finally got around to asking him about the cars. Almost an entire week had passed, yet this was the first time law enforcement had actually asked to see where the cars had turned around in the yard.

“As they were asking me where… about 15 horses were prancing about the area where the tracks had been all week! The detectives made NO effort to preserve the site…. they just didn’t seem to care much about it! I was thinking… do these guys know what they are doing???”

Later, when Dan left for the wedding, his trumpet case and gym bag were searched. I asked him if he realized he was a suspect at this point.

“I was just fine with it. I never thought much of it at the time.”

According to his father, the police spent at least three hours searching just Dan’s bedroom. Yet, even then, Dan still couldn’t believe police actually considered him a suspect. In fact, even now, to this day, Dan insists that “if a person knows he has been 100% honest from day one, then there is no way that person could be considered a suspect.” It’s that steadfast belief that has kept him going and allowed him to endure 23 years of questions, suspicion, and doubt.

Dan's parents helping to mail out Jacob Wetterling flyers

Dan’s parents helping to mail out Jacob Wetterling flyers

Later that evening, after Dan returned from the wedding, he agreed to take a lie detector test. A few weeks later, Dan also agreed to drive to the Cities so he could be hypnotized. To this day, police have never told him whether he passed the lie detector test, nor whether any information he gave during his hypnosis proved helpful for the investigation. From the beginning, he has been treated like a suspect, and not a witness.

(Incidentally, Kevin has also mentioned to police that he is willing to be hypnotized. In fact, he would actually LIKE to do this, just in case there’s more information he’s able to provide about the car and/or “medical cop” he witnessed at the Tom Thumb that night. He asked me if I knew where he could have something like this done… on his own… to help with the investigation. I said I didn’t know, but I would throw it out there and see if anyone had any suggestions for him.)

So… where do we go from here? I’ve laid out the facts as they’ve been given to me. Now, I have a few questions of my own.

I wanted to know who could possibly have seen those kids on their way TO the Tom Thumb that night. I believe this is the key. Someone KNEW those kids would be coming back down that road… returning the same way they came. They calculated the amount of time they would have before the kids returned, established an escape plan, put on a ski mask, got into position, and very likely, stashed a getaway car. So, who in the world might that person have been?

To answer that question, I also wanted to know more about the cars that would often park along Dan’s driveway. When I mentioned those cars to Kevin, the first thing he asked me was, “Were there people in them?” I guess I had assumed so… but wanted to know why he asked. He mentioned it because there was a party place back in the woods at that time… across the road from Rassiers’ place. Kids would park along the driveway and walk across the street, into the woods, out of sight, where there was a bonfire pit. It was surrounded by sheets of corrugated tin so the cops couldn’t see the glow of the fire from the road. Bench seats from old cars were used for seating around the fire pit. (I wondered who had hauled them back there. It sounded more like a homeless camp than a party spot.)

Kevin had only been there one time… before he was old enough to drive. (He remembers this because he and a buddy had ridden their bikes there.) Sometime during the night, the cops showed up, walking with flashlights through the woods, so everyone took off running. “So the cops knew about this place?” I asked Kevin. He assumed so, since they had been the ones to chase them out of there. I wondered whose land it was, but he said he wasn’t sure. He thought it may even have been public land, because there was a swamp back there, surrounded by makeshift bike trails and jumps. Kevin had a buddy that lived in the apartments that overlooked the swamp, so they used to ride their bikes back there all the time when they were kids. I wondered who else knew about this place… a secret place where kids often hung out. I wondered if Jacob and his friends knew about the spot. And I wondered if maybe there had been a party going on that evening… October 22, 1989.

I asked Dan if he knew about the party spot. He did not. However, he did point out that whenever he or his parents would find cars parked along their driveway at night, they usually had people in them. Couples, in particular. And most of the time, the couples were parked far enough down the driveway so they couldn’t be seen from the road. It wasn’t until the Rassiers happened-upon the cars with their headlights that they would even know they were there. After Jacob, however, all those shenanigans abruptly stopped. Lover’s Lane was officially closed for business.

So… who can help me answer my questions about about this party spot? Who owned it? Did it still exist in 1989? Certainly the volunteers conducting the ground search would have discovered it, wouldn’t they have?

Bloodhounds searched the Rassier driveway but lost Jacob’s sent halfway up it. That being the case, wouldn’t it make sense that a car had been used for the kidnapping? A small, dark car perhaps? One that made a loop in Dan Rassier’s driveway at about the same time as the abduction?

And what about that big, fast-moving car Dan saw earlier in the day? Who might that have been? Feeney perhaps? Showing off his “cop-like-car” for one of his youth group fans?

So many questions… so many possibilities.

More next time…

21 Comments

  1. 1. Whether or not Feeney wore a brown leather bomber jacket with a shearling collar prior to, or after, the abduction, can be proven. Whether or not Feeney ever referred to himself as a “medical cop” prior to, or after, the abduction, can be proven.

    2. The photograph of Feeney and the ten boys was published (not taken) two days after the abduction.

    3. The way Feeney’s 1990s letter about the abduction is worded, in which Feeney claims “I have an air-tight alibi,” is suspicious. It hints at pre-meditation. His wondering in the same letter whether he could have carried out such an abduction “in my sleep” sounds like rationalization whereby one distances oneself psychologically from prior bad acts. His 1991 journal expressing a desire to visit the Wetterling Foundation once a week reflects the classic Catholic Sacrament of Confession.

  2. Were the kids ever asked if they remember any vehicles driving past them heading the same direction while they were on their way back from the store?

  3. Minneapolis Star Tribune
    October 24, 1989
    St. Joseph boy, 11, kidnapped at gunpoint
    Pat Doyle, Staff Writer

    [Stearns County Sheriff Charlie] Grafft said an account of the abduction provided by Jacob’s brother, Trevor, 10, is credible and authorities assume the boy has been kidnapped. Trevor said that he, Jacob, and Aaron Larson, 11, were returning on bicycles from a convenience store a mile from home where they had rented a videotaped movie. The area is about 5 miles west of St. Cloud.

    They were about halfway home when a man wearing dark clothing, black boots and carrying a pistol walked out of a long gravel driveway leading to a farm.

    “He had a mask; it looked like pantyhose, on his head,” Trevor said. “He told us to get off our bikes or he’d shoot. We did what he said. We laid in a ditch and he asked our ages.”

    After the boys told their ages, “He looked at Aaron’s face and he told me to run to the woods as fast as I could,” Trevor said.

    Said Aaron, “He told me to run, too, or else he’d shoot.”

    Just before they began running, “We saw him grab him (Jacob) by the arm,” Trevor said. Several minutes later, he said, they looked around, but Jacob and the masked man were gone.

    Trevor said several cars passed the trio on their way to the store but no vehicles passed them as they rode their bicycles back toward home. He said they heard rustling in the weeds along the road at one point but thought nothing unusual. Trevor and Aaron said they didn’t hear or see a vehicle, but a person who lives nearby told police he heard tires squealing at about 9 p.m.

    “I have a very sick feeling there was a car and he was taken away,” Jerry Wetterling said.

  4. Thanks for the answer. How long were they in the video store approximately?

  5. I wonder why the person chose the other side of the road as opposed to the side where the driveway was considering that would’ve been where the getaway car would’ve been if there was one? Was it because of yard lights and it was darker on the other side? Here are a couple of my random thoughts. Lets say someone saw a few flashlights heading down the road while they were on the way to the station from a distance. Since it was dark there would be no way for him to know if one of them was an adult riding with them which would make it so much riskier if they decided to get set up in the ditch to try to pull off an abduction. And there would be no way for sure to know if they were coming back or how long they would be gone since the person wouldn’t know where they were headed for sure. I’m thinking it was a vehicle that passed them on the way to the station and they probably pulled over up ahead in town and waited for them to drive by on their bikes to get a good look at them. Then the person probably followed them to the station possibly even went in and then headed back down that same road and hid the car down the driveway and got set up for it. The mask definately says it was a local to me.

  6. To start: If Kevin &/or Dan Rassier can afford it, their best bet would be to hire a PRIVATE detective to look into this mess. Kevin, in particular, could most likely be hypnotized, then give the info to the PI for analysis. The police obviously, have no interest in providing their easy scapegoats a way out. A PI could possibly master an LE shakedown & blow the roof off of this craziness.

    I’m curious to find out if there were any local police involved in any potential child pornography/prostitution rings (more about that below), & if they were in cahoots with local pervs–hence the major cover ups & lack of , ahem, *enthusiasm* in solving Jacob’s case. You may be surprised to learn what degrees some LE agents have been involved in child molestation. Notice how the SCSD claimed that they *didn’t realize* how many child molesters lived in the local area back in ’89? Um… yeah. O.K. guys. *eyes roll* I’m also wondering did some POLICE officers use the alleged “Party Spot” for some unscrupulous activities–involving kids(?)Did Jacob happen to get caught up in it? Perhaps. Anything is possible here.

    Not to ruin the *other* party here, but I don’t believe that Matthew Feeney is the guy that ‘napped Jake either. He doesn’t really look much like the composite that “Jared” provided. I believe that was the same person who abducted Jacob Wetterling.

    His kidnapping doesn’t seem as cut-&-dry as many people seem to make it. I believe it’s a LOT more complicated than some common folks believe. If Feeney *was involved* in any way at all, he was probably only a MINOR player in this. After all, he is a child predator. I don’t believe, however, that he was the mastermind behind this whole debacle.

    I’m still of the opinion that the abduction was probably a PLANNED operation—probably over a period of months, hence the gap between “Jared’s” & Jacob’s kidnapping. I do NOT believe this was a “random” act of violence. I also believe that some cops from the Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Department possibly participated in this. If you’ll recall, Jacob’s hockey team was once sponsored by the St. Cloud Police Department.

    Any one of them could have easily scouted & stalked Jacob at his hockey games. Who would have been the wiser? The police also understand & can make their way around those rural routes quite easily, plus communicate quite quickly. I’m not buying for a second that the SCSD “doesn’t know” who the alleged “medical cop” is/was. They’re full of it.

    If this person was supposedly impersonating a “cop” & disguising their vehicle as a “police vehicle”, trust me, an APB would have been put out on this fellow stat back in ’03-04. ANYone knows cops don’t take kindly to impostors ruining their rep. They haven’t so much as released a sketch, description, or really much of ANYthing on this guy. I find that to be very, VERY suspicious.

    The Stearns County Sheriff’s Department would also really have no reason to play “CYA” when it came to Feeney, a KNOWN child molester—but they would if some of their “men” were involved in Jacob’s abduction. So, no. I don’t think it was Dan, “Kevin”, Matthew, Vern (Seitz), Kermit the Frog, or ANYone else the police have tried to pin this crime on. You’ll also notice how quickly the feds “dismissed” Feeny, due to his “MO” being different than Jake’s kidnapper’s. Was it REALLY the “MO” that made them turn their heads…or was it something ELSE? Makes me wonder.

    Dan Rassier has made it quite clear that the police have outright LIED & covered their tracks (pardon the pun)concerning Kevin’s (supposed)tire tread molds (you will will probably see that coming later, among other things). Why would they deliberately engage in REPEATED dishonesty if the investigation was really “legit”? Why? Because it is NOT. I guess that most people who have read these stories have pretty much come to that conclusion though.

    After all, it was stated that someone at the SCSD has alleged to have said they don’t WANT this case to be solved. Why not? An 11-year-old boy was stolen for goodness sakes. Common sense tells me that there’s more to this abduction than your run-of-the-mill perv next door. SOMEone at that sheriff’s department knows SOMEthing, & it has nothing at all to do with Dan, Kevin, Feeney & the lot being guilty of it (dare I include it: the MONKS either!).

    They have shifted the blame EVERYplace else except where it really belongs–to their police department. During the 1980’s through the early millennium, it was known to the FBI that a highly organized pedophile & child prostitution ring was in operation.

    In the 1980’s, it was right there in the mid-western states area–where a few young boys were taken (specifically between 1982-1989). Some of the victims of this ring, who have been too frightened to come forward in the press, have alleged that JACOB was one of the Midwest victims & that he was still alive back in 2002. I’m sure the SCSD already knows this information–especially, if THEY were/are partially responsible.

    For anyone interested in knowing more, read about The Franklin Scandal in Omaha, Nebraska. It will really open your eyes to the TRUTH about how far the government (meaning politicians, law enforcement, etc.) went to cover up the abductions of these innocent children used for sexual abuse straight up to Washington D.C..

    Look, I realize that there are a lot of skeptics out there who can’t quite accept or believe it, but it does seem to answer the questions of why the FBI & some LE agencies have gone the distance to lie, deny & just plain blow obvious opportunities to “solve” (ha) cases of many missing kids.

    The most disturbing part is that many law enforcement officals in the Iowa area were participants in watching child pornography made by a man named SAM SODA. Soda was allegedly involved in the abduction & prostitution of an Iowa boy named Johnny Gosch, among many, many others. Google both Johnny Gosch & Jacob Wetterling together, & you’ll see some interesting parelells between the two boys kidnappings. The Cold Spring abductor, BTW, has been reported to have looked like a guy named CHARLIE KERR from Sioux City, Iowa. Look him up if you don’t know his name.

    I suppose the possiblities in this case are endless, but hopefully, someday, the absolute truth will prevail. Perhaps someone, somewhere out there in St. Joseph, &/or the surrounding areas, can be of some help in bringing this case to a close.

    For Jacob’s sake, I really hope it happens.

  7. Just catching up after vacation here. Well this case continues to get more interesting with each update – I hope there is more previously unreleased information coming! The information being revealed here may indeed trigger someone’s memory, cause someone to come forward with information, or prove / disprove some of the theories we’ve been hearing over the years.

    I just have a few comments and questions at this time:

    1. Thank you for clearly defining the positioning of the yard light and the tire tracks. That information clears up any doubt I had about how Dan Rassier could have seen someone in the passenger seat of a vehicle in the dark. The position of the yardlight means that light would have been shining on the passenger side of the car after it turned around, and Dan would have had a good vantage point from his bedroom window, to see the passenger window in the light.

    2. I’ve read that law enforcement contents that Dan’s story has been inconsistent over the years. However, I find that his story as revealed in this blog is consistent with what he has said over the years. He said from the very beginning that he saw a small, dark car in his driveway at the time of the abduction.

    3. With regards to hypnotizing Kevin – I think it would be more meaningful for Dan Rassier to be hypnotized again. He may have been able to reveal helpful information when hypnotized by LE back in 1989. And surely, LE is not about to reveal any of that information.

    4. It’s my understanding that Dan’s parents are now retired. So who is farming the land now? Does Dan and his brother or other family members handle that? Is the land rented out to others? If Dan or another family member had committed this crime, it would seem unlikely the land would be rented out to others.

    5. Police cover up / conspiracy in St Joseph? While that’s very interesting I just think it’s hard to pull off to be begin with, let alone keep it under wraps after all this time. I’m very familiar with small towns in that area of Minnesota – and in small towns word travels fast. I think it’s likely the abduction was committed by 1 local individual, or by a single person or small group that was not from the area.

  8. I also find it interesting to read that there were several cars that passed the boys on their way to the store. I don’t remember hearing that before. It’s been emphasized that there were no cars seen on the way back to the Wetterling house – but I don’t recall hearing about cars passing on the way to the Tom Thumb store.

  9. Your initial blog “Dan’s Story” mentioned that Dan went to the sheriff’s office to read the affidavit that prompted the July 2010 search warrant of the Rassier property. Was Dan able to determine what information led law enforcement to seek a search warrant in 2010??

  10. Joy,

    Here is a good question for Dan if it hasn’t come up before. It really has to do with his mindset on supposedly telling the officer that he would go back and search his outbuildings. If it were me and it was dark outside and a person just abducted a child near my property with a gun I would be thinking there is a strong possibility they could actually be in one of those outbuildings and wouldn’t even consider searching them by myself even if I was armed. I think the entire situation would’ve been very scary and unnerving and the average person wouldn’t be able to go back to bed. I hate to say it but too many things are stacked against him for being the person responsible and I always keep an open mind. I realize you can only post certain things because you want to keep good dialogue going with Dan so feel free to email me your thoughts. wildfire0001@yahoo.com

  11. Several websites mention a burglary case in St Cloud that happened 18 months after Jacob was taken. They state the person was a sex offender and lived closer to the abduction site than the Wetterling house. I can’t seem to find the mans name. Does anyone know who this person was?

  12. “What do you need?” I asked law enforcement. “What would help you find Jacob?” The police responded, “It would have helped to know who was in the area at the time of Jacob’s abduction.”

    * * * * *

    There was a man arrested for burglary in St. Cloud a year and a half after Jacob’s abduction. When
    police ran a criminal history check on him, they found he had victimized young boys in his past. He lived closer to the abduction site than we do, but police did not know about this person at the time.

    — U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Conference on Sex Offender Registries, Proceedings of a BJS/SEARCH conference, April 1998, NCJ-168965, Paper presented by Patty Wetterling, “The Jacob Wetterling story,” at page 15. [http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/Ncsor.pdf]

    The State of Minnesota vs. DAVID STEVEN PARKER (TEMPE, AZ 85821)
    DOB: 03/20/1969
    Case No. 73-K1-91-000492
    Date Filed: 02/20/1991
    Location: Stearns county, MN

    The State of Minnesota vs. DAVID STEVEN PARKER (SCOTTSDALE, AZ 85251)
    DOB: 03/20/1969
    Case No. 05-K5-91-000349
    Date Filed: 05/07/1991
    Location: Benton county, MN

  13. Beast…..thank you! You are very sharp and can find info much better than I can.

  14. Great comments and great posts by everyone!

  15. I know I’m coming to this a year late but as to your question regarding what woman would help with an abduction…as we’ve seen with several high profile cases (Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard, etc) if there was a woman, she was mostly likely being abused herself and did not have much of an option in the matter.

  16. K…really, Dan, if you are reading this, I honestly believe you are completely innocent. I always have. Always. I just need you to know that.

  17. “I was thinking… do these guys know what they are doing???”

    Exactly, those guys (the investigators) did not know what they were doing. So much has changed since 1989.

    Patti Wetterling recently reminded us in an interview that in 1989 they were trying to make sure that each law enforcement agency had a FAX MACHINE so that they could more easily and efficiently communicate. Today, we would not call Faxing efficient communication! The Wetterlings, through their foundation, advocacy and sheer will have literally changed the way child abductions are investigated. At the time, Jacob’s case was one of the most widely reported on abduction ever. If Jacob disappeared today, the investigation would be handled very differently.

    We’re all still wondering and heartsick all these years later.

  18. Here is a theory, but first…I firmly believe the perp is from Paynesville. There were too many similarities in those sexual assaults and Jared and Jacob’s cases. After reading your blog Joy and other news stories and accounts, I believe that he had to move on to other locales because he was pushing his luck in Paynesville. I also believe that the perp may have been involved in youth hockey, or youth sports because a couple of the Paynesville cases centered around the hockey rink, Jared was leaving a hockey rink and Jacob was at a hockey rink earlier that day. I wonder if any of the victims in Paynesville were hockey players. Anyways, that brings me to my theory. Could it be that the perp was stalking Jacob at the hockey rink earlier that day and followed the family home, at which time he had used the Rassier driveway as a turn around (the first car earlier in the day) where he drove like a bat out of hell. The reason he may have driven like a bat out of hell is because he was actually searching for a place to park his car and stalk the Wetterling house and didn’t realize the Rassier farm was there as he drove down the driveway. You said it yourself Joy, that the driveway looked like a road. He was surprised to find the farm, hence, he drove like a bat out of hell to get out of there. He may have then surveyed the entire area for a place to park his car through the woods somewhere and then lurked around Jacob’s neighborhood, especially after the parents left. During this day waiting for the right time, he may have even stopped into the Tom Thumb, where the female clerk identified him. Anyways, he may have saw that the parents left for the evening and was going to find a way to kidnap him, but the boys made it easy for him when they left for the Tom Thumb. He kidnaps Jacob after identifying him from the other two, makes his way on foot through the woods to where he has his car parked. I believe that the second car Dan saw was in fact, Kevin and his girlfriend. He said it was around 10 pm and Kevin said they went down the road around 10 pm. Dan saw a female passenger and Kevin had a female passenger. Why they are so off on the type of car, I don’t know.

  19. Wow, this is a really interesting and informative page, and has some really interesting and informative comments. Especially from the Beast/Beast commentator, I hope he/she is still around and actively involved; lots of good info…

  20. I don’t have anything to add to this but I agree with you Joy–that the perpetrator either knew they were on their way there…maybe a neighbor seen them ride off? Who knows. The perp just could have been lying in wait for anyone passing by in hopes of scoring. I take some interest in this case because my good friend (at the time) Eugene Martin, was kidnapped shortly before my birthday in August of 1984. Weeks later a man tried to offer me a ride in a deserted section of downtown Des Moines, which scared the hell out of me.

    Anyway–Stay at it, just don’t veer down the path of conspiracy. Doesn’t sound like you are, but hopefully you and everyone involved in this case will get the answers they seek.

  21. Interesting that the sketch on this page looks a lot like Danny Heinrich, who ultimately led police to Jacob’s body.

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