Jacob Wetterling case – who kidnapped him?

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Jacob Wetterling case – who kidnapped him? Jacob Wetterling was a boy who was kidnapped in Saint Joseph, Minnesota in 1989.  Jacob was born in February 17, 1978 and was kidnapped at the young age of 11 less than a mile from his home after returning from a bike ride into town to rent a movie along with his brother and a friend.

Facts on the Jacob Wetterling Case

Jacob, his brother, and a friend were cycling home from a convenience store on October 22, 1989, when a masked gunman came out of a driveway and ordered the boys to throw their bikes into a ditch and lie down on the ground. He then asked each boy his age. Jacob’s brother was told to run toward a nearby wooded area and not look back or else he would be shot. Subsequently, the gunman asked to view the faces of both boys. He picked Jacob, and told his friend to run away and not look back otherwise he would shoot. The whereabouts of Jacob and the identity of the gunman remain unknown. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Wetterling The investigation into Jacob’s abduction continues. In 2004, some new reports appeared in the local press. A long-held belief is that the abductor got away in an abandoned car. It was also revealed ten months prior to the Wetterling abduction that another boy had been kidnapped, placed into a car, and sexually assaulted before being released.

The modus operandi was similar to the Wetterling case: the man used a gun and upon releasing the boy told him to run and not look back or else he would be shot. That incident occurred ten miles from the location where Jacob, his brother, and friend were stopped.[2]

The Charley Project has sketches of a man believed to have abducted Jacob and sexually assaulted the other boy in 1989.[3] In early 2009, Milwaukee police discovered child pornography and an alleged video of Wetterling taken before the abduction in the home of Vernon Seitz, 62, of the St. Francis, Wisconsin, area. Seitz had died in his house, but officers asked for additional assistance after the pornography was discovered. Along with the child pornography, articles involving missing children and maps of the cities from whose children had disappeared were found in Seitz’s home. It also emerged that Seitz himself had been abducted and tortured in 1950, and family said he was thus concerned for Wetterling from personal history. On June 30, 2010, investigators with search warrants descended upon a farm near the abduction site.

“Items of interest” were found and hauled away in six truckloads of dirt from the site to search for evidence. However, it was revealed in late September testing was unable to “establish, distinguish or identify potential evidence”.[2] In May 2014, Investigators confirmed that they’re taking another look at a series of attempted and actual child molestations that occurred in the Paynesville, Minnesota, area in the two years leading up to the Wetterling abduction.

Between the summer of 1986 and spring of 1987 5 teen boys were attacked. No one was ever arrested. The authorities re-interviewed some of the victims and are working with the internet blogger who brought the information to light.

After months of research and interviews with some of the victims, it is believed that these attacks were not random and that the culprit could be connected to the abduction of 11-year-old Wetterling in St. Joseph, Minnnesota, a town just 40 minutes away.   Location of the kidnapping http://archive.sctimes.com/assets/pdf/DR1446941018.PDF

Jacob Wetterling suspects

Suspects in the Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Delbert Huber http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/06/10/convicted-murderer-questioned-in-abduction-of-jacob-wetterling/ Dan Rassier – A man who has been publicly identified as a person of interest in a Minnesota boy’s 1989 abduction told The Associated Press on Thursday that he sent a letter to 14 state officials and agencies, complaining about how he has been treated by law enforcement.

In the letter obtained by the AP, Dan Rassier wrote that law officers violated his civil rights and his family’s rights and “abused the privileges of their power” in relation to the Jacob Wetterling case. Rassier also criticized the way the investigation has been handled over the years. This is the first time Rassier, an elementary school music teacher, has put his complaints in writing. When asked why he did so after all this time, he said:

“They are just going to keep me kind of on this lifeline dangling there forever, and I want that to stop.” Yeah, it seems like every couple of years, somebody phones in a hot tip and everybody gets their hopes up. I really wish that this ends with this investigation. But, I’m thinking that this just might be another cold trail, because of the close proximity of the farm to the Wetterling’s.

The kids that were with Jacob when he was abducted gave a pretty good description of the man and a sketch was widely circulated. How could this guy hide in plain sight for twenty years??? Jacob was 11 when he was abducted Oct. 22, 1989, by a masked gunman at the end of Rassier’s driveway in St. Joseph, about 80 miles northwest of Minneapolis. He hasn’t been seen since. Authorities have examined tens of thousands of leads, but there have been no arrests in the case that drew national attention and led to changes in sex offender registration laws. Rassier, now 56, was home alone at the time.

He has been questioned multiple times, but his name didn’t come out publicly until 2010, when authorities searched his family farm over two days. Forensic tests on items taken from that search have yielded no evidence linking them to the crime, but investigators are still testing some items, or waiting for technology to advance so additional testing can be done. Rassier, who says he is innocent, has not been cleared. “Is it considered legal for law enforcement to give the public the perception I am guilty of something when I’m not?” Rassier wrote, adding: “To destroy our family’s name the way they did because they had a “Hunch!” is in itself, a serious crime. Nothing can make it right now. The damage has been done. But to leave the whole thing open to speculation and open to the public’s imagination is just wrong!” In his letter, Rassier also complained that authorities have not returned his property or listened to details he is offering about what he witnessed the night Jacob was taken. Evidentally in 2004, they suddenly discovered that the car witnessed at the scene was owned by a local who is NOT a suspect or a person of interest, and so they RE-started the investigation on the basis of who was ON FOOT in the area who could have abducted Jacob. Kind of scary (and downright SLOPPY) if THIS is the biggest search in 20 years, they should searched the last place he was seen decades ago.

Supposedly there’s a search warrant and they aren’t allowed to discuss it, but I found this over at Websleuths: TEXT-only Printable Version::Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community – MN MN – Jacob Wetterling, 11, St. Joseph, 1989 “Authorities involved in the investigation said the search came after two young agents working the case took a fresh look at the file.

“‘There were no new tips that sparked the search, no nothing, just young cops looking at the file and they said ‘Maybe we should go take a look,’ ” said an official familiar with developments. “Asked if the agents were merely working off a hunch, the official said, ‘Yeah.'” Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner is among a handful of people named in the letter. He said Thursday he hadn’t seen it, but couldn’t comment regardless because the investigation into the boy’s abduction is still active. Sanner said authorities have put a tremendous amount of resources into solving the case, and added: “I won’t be happy until we resolve the case. I’m not satisfied until that happens.”

Authorities have not elaborated on what prompted them to search Rassier’s family farm two years ago, saying only that they had probable cause. Rassier said he mailed the letter on Wednesday to 14 different agencies or state officials, including the Department of Public Safety, the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training, the Board on Judicial Standards, as well as the Stearns County administrator and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Gov. Mark Dayton. The AP reached out to all 14 people to whom Rassier sent the letter. As of Thursday, no one confirmed that the letter had been received.

Rassier said if nothing else comes of the complaints he’s lodging, at least he spoke out about what he perceived to be problems with the investigation. “Like any unsolved crime, Jacob Wetterling and his family along with the public deserve nothing less than the truth,” he wrote. Jacob’s mother, Patty Wetterling, when reached by the AP on Thursday, said the family was out of town and hadn’t seen Rassier’s letter. She declined comment. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/03/dan-rassier-jacob-wetterling-abduction_n_1736816.html

My take on who kidnapped Jacob

I believe the most likely person to have committed this was Dan Rassier. Reasons why I think Dan is the most likely suspect:

  • Dan was a weird and strange dude to begin with.
  • Still living at home,
  • never married,
  • home alone the day Jacob dissappeared,
  • Lived less than a mile away from Jacob’s home
  • Jacob was kidnapped in front of the Rassier’s property
  • Dan claims he slept through the search
  • The police believe now the kidnapper was on foot since all cars have been accounted for seen in the area around that time
  • Dan kept a file on Jacob Wetterling at his home
  • Dan is considered a person of interest still according to investigators
  • A search warrant was granted for the Rassier property
  • I’ve read that there was a hit by cadaver dogs near a oak chest in Rassier’s house but no body was found


Videos of Jacob Wetterling case

A Current Affair, October 26 1989, Jacob Wetterling


New Developments Revealed In Jacob Wetterling Abduction Case

There is a new development in one of Minnesota’s most infamous unsolved crimes: the abduction of Jacob Wetterling. A masked stranger grabbed the 11-year-old as he biked home from a store in St. Joseph nearly 25 years ago. Now, WCCO-TV has learned that a cluster of at least six unsolved sexual assaults on boys were never looked at as a possible lead in Wetterling’s case. Those attacks happened two years prior to Wetterling’s kidnapping, just 30 miles away in Paynesville.


They are now being investigated by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. This new development in Minnesota’s most notorious kidnapping case begins in the most unlikely of places. For four years, Joy Baker, a blogger from New London, has written a detailed blog about the Wetterling case. Last summer, her research uncovered articles in the Paynesville Press in 1986 and 1987. They detailed six unsolved sexual assaults on boys just two years before Wetterling’s abduction. WEB EXTRA: Read Joy Baker’s Blog “The police chief is asking for the public’s help in finding this guy who has been assaulting 12-16 year old boys,” Baker said of one article. “What went through my mind is that they have to be connected. How many psychopathic pedophiles can exist in a 20-mile radius?” WCCO-TV asked Patty Wetterling if she had ever heard of the Paynesville cases and showed her two of the original police reports from the Paynesville attacks. “We did not know about these cases until Joy Baker put it on her blog, and it was like, ‘Wow,’” Patty Wetterling said.


Those reports, as well as the newspaper accounts, list a series of striking parallels with Jacob Wetterling’s kidnapping. He was abducted at 9 p.m. as he rode his bike home from a convenience store with his brother and friend. The Paynesville attacks also all happened at night as the victims were heading home. In two cases boys were attacked while riding bikes. They were sexually assaulted. The attacker sometimes wore a mask, which in one case was described as made from candy-striped, indoor-outdoor carpeting. He had a low, gruff voice and he threatened the boys with a knife or a gun, saying he would blow their heads off. “Some of these were taken from a group of boys. That is really rare,” Patty Wetterling said. “The threat of a gun, the age of the victims, they were close to Jacob’s age. I do think there is a strong possibility they are connected to Jacob’s case.” While two of the Paynesville victims were questioned by law enforcement after Jacob Wetterling disappeared, one Paynesville victim, who is now 40 and did not want to be named, told WCCO-TV he and other victims he knows were not, and that to this day they feel their cases both individually and as a group were overlooked. Patty Wetterling said it’s frustrating to learn so many years later about the Paynesville cases, but she is also understanding. “It was a different world back then. We didn’t have the Internet, we worked hard so that each law enforcement agency had a fax machine,” she said. Current Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner agreed the lack of Internet and the fact that small town law enforcement agencies often acted independently may have kept the Paynesville cases from becoming a significant part of the Jacob Wetterling investigation. “We can’t look back. We are actively investigating these cases now. We want anyone with any information to come forward no matter how small. You could hold the key,” Sanner said. ——- Sanner stressed there is another unsolved case that investigators have always linked to the abduction. Just months before Jacob Wetterling disappeared, a stranger kidnapped a 12-year-old boy named Jared in nearby Cold Spring. Jared told WCCO-TV the threat his kidnapper left him with: “I was told to run, don’t look back or he would shoot.”

Jared is speaking out for the first time in years. On Thursday, hear why he’s convinced the same man is behind all of these unsolved crimes against boys. If you have any information about any of these cases, please call the Stearns County Sheriff at (320) 251-4240. You can also call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.













Kevin’s Story


12 Responses

  1. Jeanette Marshall

    Quote from above “The attacker sometimes wore a mask, which in one case was described as made from candy-striped, indoor-outdoor carpeting” Have the police thoroughly checked EVERY residence Vernon Seitz lived in? he was a barber with the “Candy Striped” pole symbol.

  2. Ryan

    Putting “MY take” of who you think is responsible is about the stupidest thing you could have ever done. What you did is 100% Defamation per se in which the defamed does not even need to prove damages as damages are presumed. Good luck with that!

    • RobertStacks

      People can have opinions of what happened. And if you say it’s “My take” you are basically making it clear that it is your opinion, and not stating things as facts. Good luck winning a defamation lawsuit on a person stating their opinion, that’s what freedom of speech is all about.

      • Dan

        Ryan is correct: since Danny Heinrich has just led police to Jacob’s remains – I’d say that makes him guilty, right? – your defamation of Dan Rassier, asserting your right to “freedom of speech”, is now proven to be, as Ryan clearly pointed out, “stupid”. Go apologize to Rassier. If you have the moral character to do so.

  3. crissy snow

    my thoughts and prayers will forever be with your family. I can never know what you live with every day. I lost my 23 year old daughter to cancer in 2004, and know the feelings of loss.
    Your strength is amazing, many would fold to the pressure, but you turned to God for strength and endure and fight to keep our children safe.

  4. trackerd37

    Well I am truck driver. Been following on this case. It’s really hard of no info. But don’t know but was traveling accores Texas on I 30 to Mississippi one day though it look like him. In yellow vogswagon hatch back heading east. An brought his mug shoot up an look like hIm. But didn’t have cell phone tried radio for Texas Rangers no on came back. There was traffic jam along there. But I thinking he still alive in south some where along the I 30 I 20 I 10 but in south east of states. It’s shame that I didn’t ran that car into the ditch to see if it was but I also didn’t want to be charge an put in jail is possible things been tring keep tabs here in south to see if he pops up again to see. But u am shame now of not stopping it an running the kids prints to see if it was him. It really hurts to see stuff lik we this happen.

  5. Dan

    Well they found Jacob’s body a couple days ago. And it wasn’t any of the above mentioned persons. It was Daniel Heinrich. Someone who was questioned shortly after Jacob disappeared and should have been the main suspect all along

  6. Squirrel

    Feeling very sorry for Dan Rassier after listening to the latest episode of the “In The Dark” podcast. I can see you’re no longer maintaining this blog, but I hope you’ll consider updating this page – now that the case has been solved.

  7. Allison

    It would be good of you to post an update to this story, including an apology to Dan Rassier for insulting him and wrongly suspecting him of this heinous crime.

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