Jared’s story

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    He was a twelve year old kid living in the small town of Cold Spring, Minnesota, when he was abducted and assaulted by a stranger one cold winter night in January 1989. The assault took place just ten months before Jacob Wetterling was abducted, in a town less than 10 miles away. And like Jacob, Jared’s abductor was never found.

    I had a chance to meet Jared a few weeks ago, and we’ve talked several times since. He agreed to talk to me in the hopes that, even after 24 years, one small overlooked detail might be all it takes to jog someone’s memory and unlock this 24 year old mystery… and possibly Jacob’s as well.

    Here is his story.

    On January 13, 1989 (Friday the 13th), Jared was ice skating with a group of friends at an outdoor ice rink at Pioneer Park in Cold Spring. There were about ten of them in all – a mixture of guys and girls – and Jared was on his first date with his 7th grade girlfriend. After skating, the kids decided to go to the Side Cafe downtown for some hot chocolate and a bite to eat. Sometime between 9:30-9:45pm, they started heading for home. One of the other parents offered Jared a ride, but he declined. “That’s OK,” he told them. “I can walk.” It was only a quarter mile or so. No biggie.

    As he was walking home along the sidewalk, a man in a car approached him going the opposite direction. The man stopped, rolled down his window, and asked Jared if he knew where the Kraemers lived. (They were a well-known family in Cold Spring at the time – business owners – who lived just a few houses away from Jared.) As he was approaching the car giving directions, the man stepped out of the vehicle, seemingly interested in what Jared was telling him. “Yeah, just go down this block,” Jared said, pointing, with his back to the man. Suddenly, the man grabbed Jared’s shoulders from behind, told him he had a gun “and wasn’t afraid to use it.” Next, the man told Jared to pull his stocking hat over his eyes, and forced him into the back seat. He was very authoritative and spoke in a deep, gravely voice.

    “This can’t really be happening,” Jared remembers thinking to himself. “This must be a joke.”

    The guy drove him around for a while, heading west on the back roads toward Richmond. He finally stopped at a secluded spot about four miles away. When it was over, Jared’s abductor suddenly got angry and said he was late for an appointment at the Red Carpet. (Though Jared was too young to know it at the time, the Red Carpet was – and still is – a popular bar/nightclub in St. Cloud, about 20 miles away.)

    Jared remained in the back seat while they headed back toward Cold Spring. Then, Jared did something he thinks may have saved his life. Quietly, under his breath, he began to recite the Lord’s Prayer.

    The man asked Jared if he knew who he was. Jared said he did not. “It’s OK to talk about this,” the man said. “But if they ever come close to finding out who I am, I’ll find you after school, and I’ll kill you.”

    He stopped the car just outside of Cold Spring, at the top of Bell’s Hill, about two miles from Jared’s house. The man grabbed Jared out of the back seat, and told him to run. “Don’t look back or I’ll shoot,” he told him.

    Jared ran. All the way home. The only time he stopped was to hide whenever a car went by.

    When he finally arrived home, it was 11:30pm… about an hour and a half from the time he had been abducted.

    Here are some other details Jared remembers:

    • The guy was stocky, about 5′ 8″ with husky shoulders, and weighed between 180-190 pounds.
    • He had a low-pitched, raspy voice.
    • He had big ears that stuck out in the back.
    • Early news reports stated that the man was wearing “military fatigues and black military boots,” but Jared discounts this description. “He didn’t look like he just came back from Fort Ripley or anything,” he said. The man’s pants were baggy… like cargo pants, possibly military-issued… but not “camouflaged.”
    • He had a portable police scanner that resembled a big walkie talkie. It sat on the console between the front seats. At one point, one of the responding officers unclipped his police radio from his belt and showed it to Jared. “Like this?” he asked. “Yeah, like that,” Jared replied.
    • The car was a mid-to-late 80s, dark-colored, 4-door sedan, with automatic transmission.
    • At one point, the man told Jared not to bother trying to get out because the back seat had child safety locks.

    As part of the investigation, Jared was asked to reenact the drive from Cold Spring to Richmond to determine the location of his assault. Detectives from Stearns County drove him around at night while he sat in the back seat and told them which direction to turn. He believes he was finally able to determine the location when he recognized a distinctive farm light in the distance.

    Then, on October 22, 1989, Jacob Wetterling was abducted in St. Joseph, Minnesota, a town just ten miles away from Cold Spring. Suddenly, the search for Jared’s attacker intensified exponentially:

    • The FBI became involved and took over the interviews.
    • Jared was taken to several different auto dealers and asked to sit in the back seats of many cars, trying to find one that seemed familiar.
    • Every time a new pedophile was arrested, Jared was asked to come in and view another mugshot.
    • He participated in at least nine lineups.
    • He took a lie detector test and submitted DNA.

    All along, Jared and his family were cooperative with the investigation. However, after one particularly grueling interview, Jared’s parents said, “No more.” Detectives had interrogated him like a criminal in order to determine if he was lying. It was too much for any 13 year old boy to have to bear. Yet, he kept on, determined to do whatever he could to help find Jacob.

    Then, there was “the sketch.” It’s the one we’ve all been staring at for almost 25 years.


    In my last post, you may recall there were two different composite sketches generated with Jared’s help. The first was done by a local sketch artist in the weeks just after his assault. However Jared admits it’s the second sketch he feels is the most accurate. That drawing was done by a professional FBI sketch artist who was flown in from Washington, D.C. to help with the investigation. Jared worked with the artist for approximately 10 hours, answering questions and agonizing over every detail to make sure the sketch best resembled the man who assaulted him.

    So, why are we sharing this story? Because we need your help. Someone knows this man. He is someone’s son, brother, uncle, father, cousin, co-worker, neighbor, or roommate. He is a criminal, a child molestor, and most likely a repeat offender.

    Here are some more characteristics to ponder:

    • If Jared’s attacker was in his late 40s or early 50s in 1989, he’d be about 65-70 years old now.
    • He seemed to know his way around Cold Spring and Richmond pretty well, taking the back roads, rather than the main highway.
    • He drove a newer 4-door sedan, similar to a Chevy Celebrity or Buick Century with child safety locks in the back seat.
    • He was controlling and authoritative, with a deep raspy voice.

    If you have any insight to share, leave a comment below. Or if you’d rather speak directly to law enforcement, please contact the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department at 320-251-4240 (answered 24/7), or email sheriff@co.stearns.mn.us (reviewed daily).

    NEXT: A possible break?


  1. I am sorry that Jared had to go through all that at the age of 13. Just being taken and assaulted was bad enough, but being interrogated by the police and fbi must have been hard. I hope he has had a chance to heal. Thanks Joy and Jared for the new information.

  2. Thank you Jared for sharing your story!! Some very interesting details we’ve not heard before, and could well be a key to solving the crimes!

    A couple of questions – when the man said he was running late for the appointment at the Red Carpet – did it seem as though he was trying to create a diversion to make you believe that’s where he was headed, knowing you would likely report that information?

    Did the man literally say he was going to “the Red Carpet”, or did he just say “the carpet”. I am told that the locals always referred to that place as The Carpet.

  3. The man seemed to know his way around the countryside between Cold Spring and Richmond. It’s interesting that it also appears that the man knew where he could find a spot where no one would notice the car. Do you remember if there was a house on the property where he stopped the car?

    It would be interesting to go back and determine who owned the land where the assault took place. The man who did this must have known the owner, or at least been familiar with the owner and their habits or whereabouts.

  4. I remember back in the late 80’s & early 90’s that many small towns with small budgets had unmarked police cars just like these vehicles that were mentioned. Maybe the person was a cop from a nearby town?

  5. Has anyone ever looked into the bouncers at the Red Carpet? Could the suspect have worked there???

  6. There seems to be a lot more conversation going on during the whole crime than one would want if they were worried about being identified. Not just the things he was saying but just the fact of talking allowed Jared to hear his voice more to memorize it. That with not hiding his face. I’ve seen worse sketches catch criminals. Perhaps there’s some facial alteration: Clean shaven when he normally has a beard. Along with the way he dressed his militant appearance. Even Behavior creating a persona unlike his normal self to avoid people he knows from making a connection. The fact that he had a police scanner definitely gives reason to take a better look at a stalker theory. If anyone were to have gotten suspicious of him in the area and called the cops he would have known about it. I think if he was just driving around and it was random he wouldn’t have had a police scanner or knew that the Kraemer’s lived near Jared. I’m wondering if mentioning the red carpet was a reference to something else would I be wrong to think that Jared may have gone to the same ice rink as Jacob at some point before Friday night. Or maybe it has nothing to do with hockey just going to st. cloud. Or maybe its even more simplified maybe he just drove around cold spring until he found Jared and where he lived and just basically drove by his house over the course of weeks until finally the opportunity came to get him coming home. Maybe he could have lived in st cloud near the red carpet although I’d hope that the cops would have drove around that area and even questioned people at the bar. But even if they hadn’t I think someone still would have recognized a short fat middle aged man with a deep voice.

  7. The outburst about going to the red carpet could be an indication of regret. Like an escaped inner monologue. If so that would indicate that this was his first time. Regret seems to be something that would have died out if he were more experienced. Which would make more sense given that once a registry was formed he would have been revealed. Just cause he said it did he really think that Jared would remember it and report it? Is it possible that was a slip up? With not wearing a mask and telling Jared where he was going why still let him go? I don’t this guy is about murder. There are too many things that would trigger a reason to kill to hide evidence in Jared’s abduction and no reason in Jacob’s. Its backwards. But if he had killed why aren’t there other missing kids other cases that should be present with in the 23 year period? If he had frequented places such as the red carpet, a nightclub more than an after hours bar than he was probably closer to young 40 late 30s as opposed to being closer to 50 although that still seems older than the kind of crowd they get. That and the way he was dressed hardly proper to go to a nightclub let alone meet anyone there. In Jacob’s abduction they saw the gun it was chrome plated a flashy accessory that was sure to be seen even at night. Rather than being a common black more suitable for hunters, gun enthusiasts, even wannabe military. People talk about the gun as though it implies he failed somewhere else and began using one. But I disagree I think its all part of the image an image of intimidation. Despite the police scanner and the mentioning of child locks even saying he has a gun he never went further and used rope or anything to actually fully subdue. What if he was from the Minneapolis area? Or still is? Wouldn’t that make more sense? He takes an hour drive to cold spring during the week of Jared’s abduction driving around the town or sitting and waiting? Maybe that’s why he waits til night so the trip back to Minneapolis would be quicker with less traffic. Less likely to be spotted on the road by other cars. And the odds of ever encountering Jared again are extremely rare.

  8. This is what I think went down. I think the guy picked out cold spring as the town given that the two abductions occur in small towns not outside the towns not in bigger cities. I don’t think he stalks the kids in one area and then follows them back to their house I think that’s where he initially found them. I think he found out about the Kraemer’s by looking through their mailbox or maybe they have it written on a plaque nailed to their house. But I think he intended on Jared getting into his car willingly being that the Kraemer’s lived 4 houses down. I think that’s why he dropped all that extra crap in Jacob’s abduction. That is another reason why I think Jared was his first. I think he lives in Anoka county its the only part of the Minneapolis area that runs along the US.10 the only route that leads to county rd 23 that would drive right past the red carpet. See the county rd 23 that also leads into cold spring isn’t actually part of the same rd. The 23 that is in st cloud actually goes into st joseph which is the path I believe he took in both abductions. I think that’s why he came from the north in coldspring rather than from east. I think he had rented the car as well I think the catalina in Jacob’s abduction though could actually be his real car at the time that would have been a 13 year old car although I doubt he still has the catalina. That would have been something they would have needed to find early on given how old it was. But I did find something interesting to go along with my theory Magnum Research a company in Fridley in Anoka county made the development design and has ownership of the desert eagle (a big flashy gun most commonly found in chrome). I also think that this guy isn’t like a stereotype of every rapist out there. I think this guy is closer to Sandusky financially. I mean lets veer off for just a second and look at the public image of Sandusky before all the facts came out, most people just couldn’t except that he was a pedo because what he had been apart economically for the college and the town. I think generally its harder for people to believe that someone who appears to be an hard working member of society could possibly be a criminal without a lot of really incriminating evidence. So back to this case, so I think that when a person that paid attention to Jared and Jacob’s abduction on the news saw this guy or knows this guy they just see his status and ignore the deep voice and the fact that he’s short and fat. I’ve lived in places like stearns where there’s one good sized city and the rest of the surrounding cities are just small towns and I’m telling you even people you don’t know you recognize them and see them way too much and know things about them that you probably don’t even care to know. But now I live near Detroit which is basically the same concept as Anoka county is to Minneapolis and I don’t know anyone not even neighbors, you could go years working along someone and never know there personal life only what they tell you. And never even see them outside the workplace unless you actually want to. Which brings back the mentioning of red carpet and the military get up see I think that is all to make a connection to st cloud given that there is a military recruiting station or something like that in st cloud. I find it a little weird that none of the suspects are short fat guys with raspy deep voices. Does that bother anyone else or is everyone else just cool with that? At first I was thinking that okay they were kids so the voice thing could have been more just an exaggeration but I think its way more like that is the key identifying factor. I think its also the key arsenal the abductor used when he abducts. People tend to take skills or attributes from one part of their life and apply it to another. I think the abductor thought he could use his voice to be intimidating enough to get the boys to do what he wanted. Which it worked but I don’t think he had gone around years before abducting kids and getting away with it to realize that he could do it. I think it might be apart of his job. Maybe not like public speaking but like negotiating in somekind of business sense. I also think that the fact that he’s not like the rest of them not poor with nothing to lose is why he was in his 40s being cautious without a record instead of being 40 and getting caught within a year of them forming the sex offender registry. They have this guy’s DNA as far as I am aware so I think if he had repeated after Jacob there would be someway of making that connection and I can’t see why he wouldn’t repeat so I think Jacob’s still alive not just that but I honestly don’t see the transition from driving Jared back to cold spring with some half ass threat about finding him and killing him later if they get close to killing Jacob even though he’s wearing a mask. I’m sorry but if you’re about that life you’re gonna repeat and also you probably gonna kill the first kid too because chances are the molesting isn’t enough and the killing would actually be apart of it. So therefore I really have to think that Jacob is still alive most people probably have a low expectation of this but I have a 100% belief in this. Okay back to Magnum research and the desert eagle see I figure that the company that owns the rights to the gun probably also can acquire one quite easily without going through the normal process. That or BAE systems which is a defense contractor. I’m thinking that the whole dressing like military was like a slap in the face to them. If he were a vet or military why would he dress like that to commit a rape I just don’t think someone would dishonor military in that way if they were one or even wanted to be one. So why attempt to frame someone in the military?

  9. I think them being out at night and heading home is like a requirement, part of the abduction in itself. Jacob was at home without his parents and the abductor never made a move. But was waiting for them to come back from the store.

  10. I always wondered if it was “happenstance” – hunter in the area who happened to be there and did the act.

  11. I think the abductor used the highway 94 route Jared was walking towards his house on red river ave right? That’s the main road off 23 driving into cold spring. And how many turns did it take to get to the spot where he was assaulted? When I looked at Jacob’s abduction and use that premise. I realized that w Minnesota is right off 94 its like the main road for st joseph and 16 ave is like the last road on the right. He could have thought that wasn’t a dead end and drove down it and that’s when he saw Jacob. They saw the catalina six weeks prior to the abduction, that’s just when they first noticed it. There are even interchangeable variables about Jacob’s abduction that fit the theory. Even if Rassier’s parents were home and Jacob’s parents were home based on where the abduction took place it still could have happened. Even the fact of going to the Tom Thumb is a variable given that no matter where they were headed they would have to go past the abductor. And really just because they had never done it before doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have eventually. Its just one of those things kids do is go out at night. Even if its just to the store. That’s a pretty common thing same with kids playing hockey. I don’t think the ice rinks have anything to do with it. I mean really I’m not from Minnesota but I get the idea that a lot of kids play hockey and thus were probably doing hockey related activities. Also if he had only been watching Jared that night by randomly showing up at an ice rink or café, how does he know Jared who was in a group would split off? And not just that but know where he was headed so that he could go there and then come back so he would be in the opposite direction. Instead of looking at it in a day think longer. It just makes more sense that he was watching him for sometime and had no initial goal for the abduction to take place that day but was just awaiting an opportunity. I think he planned to let Jared go and planned to keep Jacob. If Jacob were dead there would have been other abductions or the very least assault cases. Two separate cars and stalking for longer than a month. I don’t think he would have killed him after putting that much into just waiting for the opportunity. Look at Jared’s case it doesn’t seem like there was any hesitation at all in the decision to let Jared go. I mean he never even pulled out a gun on Jared and Jared wasn’t trying to get away. Maybe that is what possessed him to think he could take a kid back to his place and control him.

  12. “The man stopped, rolled down his window, and asked Jared if he knew where the Kraemers lived.”

    (After Jared said the Lords prayer)

    The man asked Jared if he knew who he was.

    “It’s OK to talk about this,” the man said.

    These three sentences lead me to believe that the man was religious, possibly attended the same church as the Kraemers, and could have been molested as a child, has talked to someone about the incident in his past,or was in some type of addiction anonymous group.

  13. My pondering: as a onetime amateur radio fanatic the description of the police scanner intrigued me: Radio Shack and other electronics suppliers created handheld police scanners that resembled walkie talkie units and directories were made available for sale of local emergency frequencies. As the 1980s came to a close the capabilities of these devices improved so you could “search out” frequencies that were being used nearby without needing a directory like that. But the description her is that it was “big”. The unit I owned back in 1988 or so had a small LCD screen, a keypad and wasn’t much larger than a cell phone. In Minnesota however you need to have a permit in order to have a police scanner in your car. There’s some regulatory hoops to jump thru in order to get that – my guess is this guy probably didn’t have a permit and just took his changes and would throw the thing under the seat if he was pulled over. But approaching this from another angle, the description of the size of the unit made be wonder if this individual actually had come into the possession of (stolen or acquired by black market means or police surplus) an actual two way radio from local law enforcement? You have to wonder if the guy was maybe “known”. Growing up there was a guy about half a mile away from where we lived and all the kids knew to stay away from him. Nobody said anything specific, he just made everyone get the creeps. “Listen to your gut”. Anyway, hope some of this information is of help.

  14. From reading about the other abductions, it make’s you wonder if the statement ” Red Carpet ” could refer to the mask used in the previous abductions. The man wore a candy stripped carpet mask,( red carpet).I think the key is that carpet. Not to many homes would have that color but a store/ casino maybe, yes.

  15. Monique Dupres |

    Sandusky is interesting as he was a big shot. Most abusers are weak little men. I wonder if we will hear more about Sandusky and how he came to be. What shame he experienced and why he was such a hollow person.

    Duke, are you a writer? Attention to detail and the interesting ideas are uniique

  16. So many similarities between this and Jacob’s case. The part about the ice rink stood out….reminding me what what I have read from the family…that in the weeks before the kidnappng they got a strange feeling while at an ice rink. Bless you Jared…you are a brave strong man.

  17. Hi, I’m new to this blog, but I’m from the St. Cloud area and I have some comments
    1. Military-esque pants equal parachute pants, super popular at the time, I have yearbooks that have several guys wearing them, you can thank The A-Team for that. They are military in style, and were worn by tons and tons of men.
    2. Scanners: don’t forget police reserves, many men weren’t ‘real’ cops, but they were police reserve and could have had super easy access to a scanner for that reason.
    3. Religion: know any religious institutions in the area that have since been in the spotlight over molestation and assault? I do (and no, I have no personal issue with SJU or the Abbey)… St. John’s Abbey is near 94, not far from 23, would be out of the spotlight (At the time), would not have many people recognize them that are watching the news and TV, the priests/monks could have easy access to getting into St. Cloud and renting a car, or having one stashed on campus. On an aside my mother worked for the Abbey and she knew in the early 80s that the church was sending very “creepy” men to live out their days at the Abbey in the hopes they would not continue their actions. She knew this so much so that she would not have left my older brother alone with a great many of them.
    4. Serial molester/rapist/murder(?), if you look in the history of most serials they follow the same type of progression, they go from a less severe crime, progressing over time in severity, VERY few people go straight into abduction/rape/murder as their first crime. They try things out, see what happens, formulate a better and better plan. Assuming this is the same guy for all of these crimes (and it certainly could be, but isn’t necessarily), he starts as a molester and letting kids go quickly with minimal injuries, he progresses by attacking Jared, where the length of time and violence increase dramatically and he was taken elsewhere (a new step, maybe), and then Jacob, who was taken from the scene, and the rest is an unknown.
    5. Red Carpet: could be something, could be nothing, it could have been the guy’s favorite hangout, to go drink away the fact that he just assaulted a kid and he has to process the whole deal in his mind… Hard to say if that was a real thing or if it was said to throw off the chase he knew would ensue.

    It is really imperative that we all remember that this guy could still be perpetuating crimes (Josh Guimond, Scot Radel), that he could have done it in other towns and it has gone unreported, that he has since picked victims who are homeless or destitute and not reported missing by their families, and that they could all be separate men.

    I’d also like to say that as a young girl (5-6) I had two strange encounters with men in the St. Cloud area, the first time I was at the Coborn’s of 8th ave in STC, a man in the car next to my mother’s exposed himself to me, I promptly locked all the doors and hid under the steering wheel. The second time a man, possibly the same ((we only lived a block away from the Coborn’s), came to my house, and tried to get my friend and I to open the door for him. We refused, we told him if he didn’t leave we would call the cops. My parents felt NO need to report either incident, the first one my mother didn’t believe (she thought it was too outrageous), the second because my friend was present they believed me, but didn’t feel it was worth calling the cops over. This was the prevailing mentality in the area until Jacob was abducted, there could be a great many other victims that never reported anything because their parents didn’t think it was a big deal. My incidents happened ~81-83…

  18. Jared any idea if the guy could have been drinking. Was the side café actually what is know now as the side bar?

  19. Long long shot, but worth it I think, to look back at old high school year books (if they in fact had them 20-30 yrs prior to Jared’s abduction. I imagine back in those days the cold spring high school..or even other high schools in the area were pretty small. See if you could find someone that looked like the abductor. I’m guessing the abductor grew up in the area.

  20. I live near Cold Spring, so all of this happened close to my home and I have been following the case since the onset. At the time, everyone had theories but after watching, tonight’s episode a thought occurred to me– with Jared’s case and the five other cases from Paynesville for a total of 7 incidents prior to the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in a two year span. Even though, I believe that it seems more than a coincidence that there were two men who committed these crimes’ but I’d like to know where did the suspect go after he abducted Jacob? Did he kill Jacob and then suddenly became remorseful and decided to never molest young boys again? Why did he stop? Did he move to another city or state? Was he arrested for another crime and ended up in prison? I doubt it, because child molesters seldom can stop these *gag* urges on their own. This has been bothered me all evening. Anyway, I am hoping that the Wetterling family, along with all the people and their families involved can finally obtain some much needed and deserved closure.

  21. I don’t know for fact but weren’t the child locks a “special order” in the ’80’s? I’m almost positive they only came about in the very late ’80’s, so they wouldn’t be immediately standard equipment. I would also guess that if that were the case, it wouldn’t be hard to track down a list of buyers who requested that option. I’m going with the church worker as well. The “scanner” could simply be a walkie talkie type device used to communicate between other fleet vehicles, the way truckers do. If it was a scanner, the man was obviously well off because they were high priced back then and add on the new car…

  22. No, child safety locks are standard in cars, then & now. Also, they were very much available in the early & mid 80s. Many times it was a switch on the door (where the door opened & latched to the car) that turned them on or off.

  23. Things that stand out here are that the perp collected souvenirs. In all cases he took something from the boys. Most perp collectors never discard their possessions, meaning that these items are still with that individual.

    One of my biggest questions is whether or not DNA was collected from Jared’s attack. If so, LE should have voluntary DNA collection drives. Stearns County is in general very rural. Many families never relocate out of the county. To be able to have these drives would be highly beneficial as whole family tree’s could be eliminated, and could lead to narrowing down suspects.

  24. Wow. Sad but fascinating. I’m sorry to hear about Jared’s ordeal. I hope he knows that everyone is grateful he is helping to get a monster off the street. Someone knows this pervert. Did authorities ever talk to the employees at The Red Carpet? Is that bar still around or closed? I assume the mans DNA has not been matched up to anyone? This man was obviously from the area. Someone has to know him.

  25. The Red Carpet is very much still open. I am not sure if it has the same ownership, as back then, but the bar is probably one of, if not the, most popular bars in St. Cloud… frequented by college students, and everyone else! I guess Jared or his parents would know if they ever talked to the Red Carpet management to see if there were any people who worked or frequented there… sadly, crimes like this just weren’t handled the same way back then…

  26. I commend Jared for speaking out and helping. You are courageous! Joy you are a great writer. Your articles are concise and well researched. I am so happy you are doing this, keeping hope alive and hopefully bringing more leads to end it once and for all. I had no idea about Jared or any of the Paynesville boys. I am sorry so many people have had to endure this abuse by possibly only one person. Unfortunately I was so young at the time I have no information on Jared’s or Jacob’s abduction (I live in Central MN). If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  27. Asalamu Alaykom,

    Wishing you peace. The truth is already known to God. That’s a beautiful and calming thought for believers.

    I wonder if the man responsible is reading this blog. If so, then he certainly knows the truth as well. “The truth will set you free,” means that a release from the secrets of the past gives to you more than it hurts you.

    That would be true for any other victims who are scared about coming forward.

    I’m so glad that Jared has set him self free from this incident by being so open about it, in the hopes that it helps. That’s a true triumph over evil. I am amazed at how Joy Baker has done so much good detecting from her turkey farm! That’s another great triumph. Working together, remaining true and hopeful is going to bring light to the darkness and, God willing, answers for the Wetterlings.

  28. Does anyone think that the student who disappeared on the SJU campus is related to this case? Everyone passed him off as being drunk and falling into a lake. But now who knows.

  29. Please look at st. Johns Abby. There were a lot of men in their that molested young boys, and was covered up for a long time. Has anyone checked this out.

  30. Brenda korman |

    There is a Red Carpet in Sauk Centre also. Did anyone ever check the local patrons of that bar?

  31. Thanks for the blog Joy. You are an amazing and talented writer.

    Jared, thanks for your concern for Jacob and I am so sorry you had to go thru what you did. Never forget that you are a survivor.

    Growing up in St Cloud and dating a Johnny, I spent much time at SJU. I wonder if anyone has considered the old back entrance to St Johns. It goes past the lake and the apple orchard. That place was desolate and always gave me the creeps. Once out of the deserted road you could go to either cold Spring or St Joseph.

  32. Is there a “clearing house” location that that creates a database where all relevant clues and information are added by anyone and accessed by law enforcement that are “triangulated” for relevance with algorithms? For example, Midwest abduction of males, Johnny Gosch, Gene Martin, etc. blue cars, criminal records, photos, etc. Duggard and Gosch, same blue car Granada, LTD, or Marquise. nearly identical, suspects photos, Gosch and Jacob W, nearly identical, look up Emilio, could be a twin to Jared abductor, Lots of ties to political figures in Midwest, Nebraska, ties to Offit.Air Force Base, John Gosch senior fits profile of perpetrator, Paul B. is a man who admits he was forced to kidnap Gosch, there is a whole book full of evidence called “Why Johnny Can’t Come Home” that is ignored when it is all out there, in the scheme of things we are talking about a few boys from the Midwest at the same time and place under the same circumstances, there can’t be that many perps that look alike and molest boys the same age and drive blue cars that look alike and with do it with those involved willing to talk..It’s a matter of having all the info in one place and using technology to identity patterns and draw inferences. Statistically speaking, in a country of millions we’re looking at only a few people and their habits and patterns and car ownership records and criminal records and biometrics and DNA and their narratives, they can be pulled together. As soon as we get really geeky tech people to get involved these the cases they will get solved. Mark Zuckerman or Bill Gates or someone like that needs to make it their cause and set up the sites, connections, software, etc. and many of these cases will be solved. Put out a plea to them to use their resources to create what needs to be created and offer it to the public and the authorities at affordable prices. When the right person takes up this cause and the right technology is developed, we will get somewhere. John W., Beth H, and Noreen are the heroes but only sophisticated technology will move us forward. Jared look at the photo of the suspect in Gosch case, Emilio.

  33. Is it possible the Red Carpet reference was actually red carpet? There are/were churches – Catholic and other – with red carpet in the aisle, sanctuary or kneelers. When the man became angry perhaps it was agitation due to guilt and he suddenly felt the need for reconciliation, making the reference to red carpet. I know it sounds like something out of a mystery novel but it’s a strong thought I had after reviewing MPR’s news investigation website “Betrayed by Silence” and I had to share it. Plenty of possible suspects on that site as well as behindthepinecurtain.com making my mind wander to all sorts of unsolved cases in this area. Also, and this has probably been considered already, but could the reason the assaults stopped after 1989 be due to a timely transfer elsewhere by his superiors?

  34. Matthew Feeney had a CB radio in his old police car. Jared said his abductor had a police scanner radio as well. Feeney appears taller than 5,8 but has big ears. Im sure old police car also had child safety locks and all that. Just a thought

  35. Im a year and a half younger than Jacob. In ’92? I lived in south Minneapolis on 50th street. I was ice skating at Keewaydin park 4-5 blocks from my home. I was walking home from skating after dark and had a guy pull up open his car door and stand up and made some sort of statement like come here or do uou want a ride. He was wearing a baseball cap if I remember. I ran up the nearest steps to a house door with all my hockey equipment and the guy drove off.

    That same year or the year after I went fishing at lake Nokomis all by myself and a guy followed me around part of the lake, stopping whenever I stop to fish, until I go out onto the dock and start talking to a guy who has a hat on with my step fathers employers name on it. The following me got up and took off. The guy with the hat knew my step dad and gave me a ride home, he had his son with him.

    South Minneapolis is far from these areas but it was a couple years after Jacob disappeared and I am near jacobs age just a little younger. Probably not much help I dont remember much more but all of this just started jogging my memory

  36. That mug shot of the guy arrested at the St Cloud Library does look like Jared’s sketch

  37. From Questions unanswered’s 10/20/2014 link…

    “A St. Cloud man was arrested Friday and could face charges after a woman told police that he put his finger in the mouth of her 3-year-old child at the St. Cloud Public Library and asked the child to come home with him.”

    Mr Danzl seems like he has the potential to turn out being a “sicko,” but I don’t think he’s related to the assaults on Jacob/Jared and the other boys. Putting your finger in a child’s mouth in a public place doesn’t fit his MO. The earlier victims were all pubescent/adolescent boys, so that appears to be the “type” he goes for.
    The child Danzl went after was three and it is not stated whether boy/girl. Plus his assault happened at a library where there were (or potentially could be) other people. The boys were assaulted late in the day or after dark when they were alone or had been separated from any friends that were with them.

  38. This is a long shot, but I think it’s worth stating….

    I have a family member that is a HAM radio operator and I shared with him the details of Jared’s account of the “police scanner”. Back in the 80’s, HAM was more popular of course then it is today, and many handheld scanners could be purchased at Radio Shack, etc. Most police scanners those days were not hand-held devices; they were console-unit devices that was a foot long and about 5 inches high. Most were illegal to use unless you were a registered HAM operator or the police. So, more than likely, a hand-held device could have been a HAM radio.

    Now, with that said the perpetrator could have been using this radio without being a registered HAM user, but has the police checked all registered HAM call sign users in the area and checked them out?

    Just throwing it out there…..

  39. barry waterfield |

    I find it incredably touching , Jared reciting the Lords Prayer from the back of the car. Who could not be moved . It isn’t so much the sexual assault that causes the damage in these cases , it is the fear, the abduction, the not knowing what will happen to you, whether you will live or whether you will die. Probably the worst thing in Jareds case was that terrible threat, ”I’ll find you after school, and I’ll kill you”. A threat callculated to strike terror into the mind of any child. The cold fear of that one statement will remain with him for all of his life, at the back of his mind like a dark menacing shadow. For Jacob , sadly , it was all over very quickly, we hope, but for Jared it can never can be over , what he went through that night will be with him until he closes his eyes for the last time.Heinrich is a stealer of souls , can we ever really forgive him for the heartache and sadness he has inflicted upon so many.Somehow I doubt it.


  1. The 1986-87 Paynesville incidents – an update | [ j o y . t h e . c u r i o u s ] - [...] Last summer, I met and interviewed Jared for the first time. He was the 12 year old boy from…

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