Today is the twentieth anniversary of the abduction of eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling. He was kidnapped at gunpoint by a strange man in front of his brother and a friend, and never seen again. The police don’t seem to have any idea what became of him or who took him, though he is one of the most famous missing children in the country.
Of course there’s a slew of anniversary articles:
Minneapolis Star-Tribune (this is a nice one, focusing on how the abduction affected Jacob’s best friend who saw the whole thing)
Minnesota Public Radio
St. Cloud Times
St. Cloud Times again
Fox 9 News
Jacob’s abduction reminds me of a lot of cases, namely Jaycee Dugard, Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin, and the Groene family murders and the abductions of Dylan and Shasta Groene. (I wonder if anyone looked at Joseph Duncan as a suspect in Jacob’s kidnapping? Just a thought.) Whoever kidnapped Jacob was incredibly brazen and brutal. My guess is that the abductor had committed other crimes before — not kidnapping but perhaps assaults, burglaries, maybe some sex crimes. You just don’t wake up one morning and decide to stalk and abduct a child at gunpoint in full view of two witnesses.
Is Jacob still alive? Who knows?