Saturday, February 16, 2008

Jacob have I loved

How is it possible that Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted in Minnesota at age 11, would turn 30 this weekend and yet there is no sign at all of what happened to him?

I had just started working at my first journalism job in the fall of 1989, fresh out of college, and remember driving to my bus stop park-n-ride hearing the morning DJs discussing Jacob's abduction. We all assumed something would be found within a few days -- if not a body, tire tracks, a shirt, a clue or some kind. But apparently we all watch too much CSI, or whatever the 1989 equivalent was, because it seems like Jacob's creepy abductor pulled off the perfect crime.

I asked John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" about the Wetterling case at TCA one year, and he said what we all know: That Jacob is dead, and was probably dead within a day, or a week, of his Oct. 22, 1989 abduction. But where is the body? Where is the abductor? Everybody gots to be somewhere, as the old joke goes.

This case will forever nag at me, and I know I'll always read any updates of anniversary stories, hoping for some closure. And if this complete stranger does that, how many thousands of times worse can it be for his family not to know?

It didn't strike me until about a month ago, but Miss Kelly was born on the 18th anniversary of Jacob's abduction. I like to think she redeemed that date.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

at least you spelled his name right this time. last time you posted a story about jacob, you spelled it "wetterline" until you were corrected & then you changed it & re-posted it.

Gael said...

Heh, this comment cracks me up. Did not realize that correcting a typo was so shameful!

Leslie said...

Yes, in the seedy jungle of internetz pwnage, correcting a typo is an admission of your inferiority. At least for people that can't think of an intelligent rebuttal to your original point.

jam said...

What a bizarre comment... people are so weird.

Anyway, my husband and I were talking about other unsolved mysteries over the weekend and had the same "everybody gots to be somewhere" reaction. I know it's possible, but it seems ridiculous that in modern times, if there are people actively searching, that nothing could be found...

Maya said...

Goodness, way to miss the whole point of the post, Anonymous.

Ann said...

Gael, I remember when you wrote about his class graduating from high school. (I can't remember where...) Can that have been twelve years ago already? I guess our mothers were right...time flies! BTW, continuing to remember was, and is, kind...no matter how you spell it.

Kristin said...

I have one of these, too - Michael Dunahee. No personal connection, but his disappearance nags at me, because somebody, somewhere, knows what happened to him.

cpeep said...

Gael, I am cracking up because the targeted ad for this post is for Kidnap/Ransom Insurance. How big of an market is there for that, do you suppose?

I clicked on it just to confuse them!

Carol (from Beany)

extremecards.blogspot.com

Michelle said...

I grew up in Minnesota and am the same age as Jacob. His disappearance was the first news event I remember really affecting me. Most likely because he was just like me and it made me realize that the world wasn’t always safe. I think of his mom often. She spoke at my school just a couple of years after the abduction. The hope she still had was heartbreaking. I think of Jacob, not only around the anniversary of his disappearance, but whenever I have a major life event. Graduating from high school and college, turning 21, falling in love, starting my first real job, turning 30; All of these things he didn’t get to do.