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Update: September 3, 2016 Breaking News

Jacob Wetterling’s Remains Found in Central Minnesota

This area is dedicated to our friend Jacob and other missing childrenPaddy_JacobGarden-1_10-09-2008
Inscribed stone slab in Jacob’s Garden at North Junior High School, St. Cloud, taken Oct. 9, 2008. (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)

 


 

Updated April 20, 2016

Wetterling Cold Case Heats Up With New Book, Arrest

Wetterling-Ebben_Newsleader

By Frank Lee
St. Joseph Newsleader
April 14, 2016

Excerpts

“I’ve got more invested into it than I’ll ever get back out of it,” said Robert M. Dudley about his first book, It Can’t Happen Here – The Search for Jacob Wetterling, now in its second edition.

The husband and father from Eau Claire, Wis. discussed his investigative work at a free event April 6 at the Gorecki Center on the campus of the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. …

“I travel to Stearns County often for work, and that gave me the opportunity to do some research into the case,” Dudley said of his growing fascination with the unsolved mystery. …

“I decided to write the book because there was so much information out there, and the media, I felt, was focusing on the wrong things,” said Dudley, who works for a retailer in the Midwest. …

Jerry Wetterling attended Dudley’s presentation but sat quietly in the back row. …

Dudley said he had been emailing Aubrey Immelman, a CSB/SJU psychology professor, and the idea came up for Dudley to come to the campus of the College of St. Benedict to speak. …

The event with Dudley as the keynote speaker was sponsored by CSB/SJU students enrolled in a forensic and legal psychology course, and his book was available for sale at the event. …

Read the full report

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April 6, 2016 Update — Author Presents Book Discussion

Ebben-Immelman_2016-04-06
Dr. Aubrey Immelman introduces Robert Dudley at his author discussion event at the College of St. Benedict, April 6, 2016.

Click on image or text below for larger view

Wetterling-2nd-ed_Author-flyer

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It Can’t Happen Here: The Search for Jacob Wetterling

Wetterling_book-cover

By Robert M. Dudley

Author’s Note

Anyone who was living in the Midwest in the fall of 1989 was familiar with the Jacob Wetterling kidnapping. The story was all over the news. There were newspaper articles, television news stories, posters, billboards, and buttons. Jacob was everywhere, but he couldn’t be found.

“It Can’t Happen Here” is an investigative and historical chronicle of Jacob’s case from several perspectives. It is a well-documented journey that begins with the day of the abduction and the massive media following. The book recounts the support of the local community and offers a glimpse of how Jacob’s kidnapping spawned significant progress toward the safety of all children through the efforts of the Jacob Wetterling Foundation.

The book then moves on to a detailed presentation of the investigative effort to find Jacob and his kidnapper, and concludes with an examination of several individuals who were investigated in the case.

“It Can’t Happen Here.” Those are four seemingly defiant words, and at one time they offered what many considered a sense of immunity from the growing horrors of society. In reality, the phrase was merely an empty promise, and it represented the immediate collective reaction to the shocking truth that was realized in St. Joseph, Minnesota, after the night of October 22, 1989.

What happened to Jacob Wetterling changed the world. No longer were the small towns in the Midwest considered immune to the horrors of the exploitation of children.

The search for Jacob Wetterling has been unlike any other search for a missing child. The purpose of this book is to accomplish two primary objectives:

First, the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling is an incredible, true story — one that is as compelling and mysterious as any such crime could be. Jacob’s story is in many ways stranger than fiction. For every question that has been answered during the course of the investigation, it seems that the answers have led to more questions. It is a complex story that has been longing to be told, and never to be forgotten.

Second, the case of Jacob Wetterling’s kidnapping is a solvable crime. Someone has the answers, or that one piece of information, however small, which could help solve Jacob’s case.

This book contains a significant volume of information, including a glimpse of several individuals who have been investigated, and several promising but forgotten leads that developed over the course of the investigation. Ultimately, the goal of this book is to not only tell the story of the search for Jacob Wetterling, but also to provide some detail or trigger someone’s memory of that one bit of information that could help solve the case.

If this book is put into the hands of the right person, I truly believe it actually could help. …

Wetterling_book-back

Purchase book at Amazon
Paperback $19.95
Kindle $7.99


Striving to Be the Best — Memoir by former FBI agent Al Garber

Purchase book at Amazon
Hardcover from $96.00

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Second Edition Update: April 2016

It Can't Happen Here: The Search for Jacob Wetterling -- Answers in the Sand

Answers in the Sand, the 2nd edition of It Can’t Happen Here, is ready to ship via mail order to anyone who would like a signed copy and was unable to attend the author discussion in Paynesville on Monday, March 28, 2016 or St. Joseph on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

The books are priced at $17 (or $30 for two copies), which includes shipping to addresses in the United States.

The cost will be $17.95 (excluding shipping) at Amazon.com, with the Kindle version selling for $6.95. Profits from the sale of the book will benefit child safety and educational causes.

Email robebben@yahoo.com for an order form or for inquiries about international shipping.

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On Facebook: Searching for Jacob Wetterling

Wetterling_book-ToC

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5/22/2015 Update

Book review

Enduring Mystery

Eau Claire author explores Wetterling abduction

SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS. With exhaustive research, mainly from secondary sources, Eau Claire author Robert Dudley has written a 300-page book on the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling.
With exhaustive research, mainly from secondary sources, Eau Claire author Robert Dudley has written a 300-page book on the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling. (Photo: Andrea Paulseth)

By Tom Giffey
Volume One
April 15, 2015

Like almost everyone else who was living in the Upper Midwest – and much of the United States – in 1989, Robert Dudley remembers the abduction of Jacob Wetterling well. The 11-year-old’s kidnapping sent ripples that radiated far from the tiny central Minnesota town of St. Joseph, striking fear into the hearts of parents, attracting international attention, and ultimately leading to sex-offender registry laws.

Yet for all the scrutiny, the case remains unsolved. No one has seen Jacob for more than 25 years – at least no one who has spoken publicly – and clues are virtually nonexistent. There has been no evidence and no arrests. Hope for a resolution seems as dim as the moonless October night when Jacob vanished. …

Read the full review

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10/31/2015 Update

Here’s an excerpt from pages 248-249 of Robert M. Dudley’s book It Can’t Happen Here: The Search for Jacob Wetterling (2015) with reference to Danny Heinrich, who has been named a “person of interest” in the cases of Jacob Wetterling and Jared Scheierl, the 12-year-old Cold Spring boy who was kidnapped and assaulted nine months prior to Jacob’s abduction. Heinrich was arrested Oct. 28, 2015 on child pornography charges.

Duane-Hart
Duane Hart

In an interview with the private investigator [Duane Hart said] he had alibi for the night that Jacob was kidnapped, that he had been forty-five miles away from St. Joseph, at Mud Lake, west of New London. He said he was with one of his juvenile victims at the lake that night.

The investigative notes seem to indicate that Hart was attempting to help investigators narrow the search for the man responsible for Jared’s assault and Jacob’s abduction. …

When Hart was shown several sketches of possible suspects in both cases, he identified a handful of men as possible, but suggested one man in particular that he thought matched the description in Jared’s case in Cold Spring.

Hart identified that particular individual because the man often wore military type clothing, drove a dark blue car, and had a hand held police scanner.

Each of those items was consistent with descriptions from Jared’s account of his abduction and assault. …

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Related report

Danny Heinrich on Wetterling Investigators’ Radar Since 1989

By Courtney Godfrey
FOX
October 30, 2015

Danny Heinrich, the person of interest in the Jacob Wetterling abduction case, has been on investigators’ radars since the days right after he went missing. One private investigator said he’s always had his sights set on Heinrich.

Robert Dudley wrote a book on the investigation [link added] and said this break in the case doesn’t come as a surprise to him. The author is only the most recent to hand over evidence pointing to Heinrich.

A private investigator, whose notes are used in Dudley’s book, interviewed a man once considered the main suspect in the case.”

That suspect actually suggested that Heinrich had committed the crime,” Dudley said. “He described Heinrich’s car and police scanner radio as being very similar to that in Jared’s case.”

Dudley says Danny Heinrich is a name that’s been floating around for nearly all 26 years that Jacob has been missing. Investigation notes used in Dudley’s book describe Heinrich as a member of the National Guard, emotional, and a loner.

Dudley handed the investigation notes over to Stearns County investigators yet again a year ago.

“I sent the notes to Stearns County and the FBI [link added] and I don’t know if it was helpful or not,” he said.

All the private investigators Fox 9 talked to want to know, why now? The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says it’s because of better DNA technology, but some hinted they may have been under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Get updates at KMSP Fox 9

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11/7/2015 Update

Dan Rassier’s Alibi

Rassier-alibi_01-13-1989

Excerpt from pages 265-266 of Robert M. Dudley’s It Can’t Happen Here: The Search for Jacob Wetterling:

A significant problem for investigators is that for nearly fifteen years they expressed the belief that Jacob’s October 1989 case was related to Jared’s Cold Spring, [Friday] January [13] 1989, case. Investigators have also suggested that Rassier was a suspect from the very beginning of the Wetterling investigation.

What is puzzling about that assertion is that Rassier has a solid alibi for the night Jared was assaulted. Rassier would often play the trumpet with Betty Wolf when she performed a solo show without her polka band, The Deutschmeisters. Such was the case on the night of [Friday] January 13, 1989. On the night that Jared was abducted and assaulted, Dan Rassier was playing a music show with Betty Wolf at the American Legion in Eden Valley, a half-hour away from St. Joseph.

If Rassier could not have been Jared’s assailant then it seems contradictory that for so many years investigators were certain of a link between the two cases, and that they considered Rassier a suspect from the beginning of the Wetterling investigation.

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9/6/2016 Update

Wetterling Book Author Predicted Heinrich’s Involvement

By Iris Perez
FOX
September 5, 2016

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (KMSP) — The discovery of Jacob Wetterling’s remains has been both astonishing and sobering news.

“All along all anybody’s wanted is answers,” Robert Dudley, self-proclaimed amateur sleuth and author told FOX 9 Monday inside his Eau Claire, Wis. home.

Dudley has been deeply involved in piecing together the puzzle of Jacob’s abduction and describes the latest developments as “bittersweet.”

As the man behind It Can’t Happen Here: The Search for Jacob Wetterling, Dudley is, however, more relieved than most over what FBI agents uncovered over the weekend.

His true crime casebook was fueled by personal frustration and a quest to find answers.

In its second edition, Answers in the Sand, Dudley reveals the circumstances tying Dan Heinrich to Jacob’s case from the very beginning.

“You have the Paynesville police telling Stearns County you should expect to see evidence of Dan Heinrich in a driveway and then they find his shoeprints and his tires and this was back in 1990,” Dudley recalled.

When Dudley came across notes from a prison interview conducted more than two decades ago with Duane Hart, a convicted pedophile, he took action. Those notes became the very research that in September 2014 led Dudley to turn Heinrich’s name in to the FBI.

[ . . . ]

Read the full report at Fox 9

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Related reports on this site

The remains of Jacob Wetterling were recovered in this tree line area of a cow pasture off Stearns County Road 85 northeast of Paynesville. (Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii / Star Tribune)
The remains of Jacob Wetterling were recovered in this tree line area of a cow pasture off Stearns County Road 85 northeast of Paynesville. (Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii / Star Tribune)

Jacob Wetterling’s Remains Found in Central Minnesota (Sept. 3, 2016)

Wetterling “Person of Interest” Danny Heinrich in Federal Court (Feb. 22, 2016)

Danny James Heinrich Questioned in Wetterling Abduction — Investigator’s 1990 Case Notes (Nov. 23, 2015)

Danny Heinrich Arrested: Wetterling Press Conference
(Nov. 4, 2015)

Danny Heinrich Search Warrant in Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping (Oct. 30, 2015)

25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction (Oct. 22, 2014)

Wetterling Case Featured on ‘The Hunt with John Walsh’ (Aug. 31, 2014)

Kidnapping Anniversary Marked By AMBER Alert Donation (Oct. 22, 2011)

Minnesota Missing Persons Linkage Analysis (June 22, 2011)

Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Tips (March 2, 2011)

Jacob’s Kidnapping ‘Comes of Age’ (Oct. 22, 2010)

Jacob Wetterling — Latest News (Oct. 5, 2010)

Wetterling Suspect Dan Rassier (July 3, 2010)

Jacob Wetterling: Rassier Search (July 1, 2010)

Josh Guimond: New Developments (May 24, 2010)

Jacob Wetterling Freedom Walk (Dec. 21, 2009)

Missing Person Joshua Guimond (Nov. 7, 2009)

Jacob Wetterling 20 Years On (Oct. 22, 2009)

Jacob Wetterling Celebration (Oct. 16, 2009)

Wetterling Friend Shares Story (Apr. 28, 2009)

Jacob Wetterling Lead Unravels (Jan. 7, 2009)

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17 Responses to “New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects”
  1. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Wetterling Suspect Dan Rassier Says:

    […] New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  2. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling: Rassier Search Says:

    [...] New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) [...]

  3. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling — Latest News Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  4. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Dan Rassier Teaching Concerns Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  5. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Wetterling Friend Shares Story Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  6. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob’s Kidnapping ‘Comes of Age’ Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  7. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Lead Unravels Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  8. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling 20 Years On Says:

    […] New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  9. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Tips Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  10. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Anniversary Marked By AMBER Alert Donation Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  11. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » 25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  12. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Daniel Heinrich Search Warrant in Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Says:

    […] New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  13. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Daniel James Heinrich Questioned in Wetterling Abduction — Investigator’s 1990 Case Notes Says:

    [...] Robert Dudley published a book about Wetterling’s abduction sorting through 25 years of promising leads and dead ends. [...]

  14. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Wetterling “Person of Interest” Danny Heinrich in Federal Court Says:

    […] New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  15. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Case Featured on CNN’s ‘Hunt With John Walsh’ Says:

    […] New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  16. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling’s Remains Found in Central Minnesota Says:

    […] New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015) […]

  17. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Missing in Minnesota: 147 Unsolved Missing Person Cases Says:

    [...] Robert M. Dudley is a true crime researcher and author from west central Wisconsin. His research for his first book, “It Can’t Happen Here: The Search For Jacob Wetterling,” released in April 2015, led to the discovery of information that tied Danny Heinrich to Jacob’s 1989 kidnapping and murder. Heinrich was arrested 6 months after the release of the book, and ultimately confessed to Jacob’s murder. [...]

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