MN - Jacob Wetterling, 11, St. Joseph, 22 Oct 1989 - #4

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kemo

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Ryan,
Excellent Post. You pretty well nailed it.

The "problem" with the 2010 "re-opening" of the case was that that LE publically stated that "there was no car". This is suddenly made DR the "prime suspect" since nobody else lived within easy walking distance and none of them lived an "unusual" lifestyle, i.e. adult living with parents.

As I have argued in earlier posts and Ryan points out, the fact that Kevin came forward and apparently provided an "innocent" explanation for the tire marks does not preclude any perp "escape vehicle", it just opens the possibility that there wasn't one.

Obviously, the police should have knocked on DR's door very early in the investigation and asked for permission to "look around". That would have been standard procedure. Perhaps, due to Kevin's tire tracks, they concluded that this was unnecessary.

Something that is not clear to me is exactly what interaction DR had LE that night. According to DR's own account 15 years later, he saw police cars near his driveway and called 911 to ask what was happening and inform them that he had seen a car enter his driveway and turn around. Does anyone know, from original sources, exactly when he called and what he told the 911 operator?

It has been suggested that DR made the report deliberately to "throw off" the investigation. If he had reported seeing a car "turn around", it is inconceivable that LE would accept a statement from a witness as relayed through a 911 operator without contacting that witness immediately.

Looking at Google Earth, it appears that someone in the house wouldn't have been able to see a vehicle that had had just barley entered the driveway (nor anyone walking along the road). Had a car driven a little further up the driveway, past the trees, it seems more likely it could have been seen from the house.

Trees may have been cut or grown taller in the insuring period and the only way to test the veracity of a witness's statement it to go to the spot and see if he could have seen what he claims he saw. It is worth mentioning that vehicle lights may be visible when the source of the lights (the vehicle) is not.

My interest in this case is primarily based on my concern that an innocent (and from all accounts very decent) man is having his reputation slammed and his livelihood threatened by a "long-shot" ploy by LE and the local media to solve a crime that has haunted the community for years.






 

KeepHopeAlive

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Looking at Google Earth, it appears that someone in the house wouldn't have been able to see a vehicle that had had just barley entered the driveway (nor anyone walking along the road). Had a car driven a little further up the driveway, past the trees, it seems more likely it could have been seen from the house.

Trees may have been cut or grown taller in the insuring period and the only way to test the veracity of a witness's statement it to go to the spot and see if he could have seen what he claims he saw. It is worth mentioning that vehicle lights may be visible when the source of the lights (the vehicle) is not.

I am not familiar with the property, but being that it was late October, I would assume that many of the trees had already lost most of their leaves. This would make it easier for a vehicle to been seen (or at least its headlights) or heard.
 

shergal

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I have asked that same question many times. I posted pictures in a previous thread of some crummy video screen caps I took that show Jacobs footprints in the driveway but they're difficult to make sense of. I would think that the abductors footprints were visible too but LE has never said anything about it.

Lotus, the only footprints left showing in the driveway were Jacob's prints, because kevin's car drove across the abductor's footprints. In the grainy photo of Jacob's footprints, you can see Kevin's tire tread right next to them. These tire tracks were measured and proven to be from Kevin's car. (Link for that is in these threads somewhere.)

There were no other tire tracks from any car supposedly parked further up the driveway. While I totally agree with Ryan's discounting of the Franklin/Gosch tie in, I'm not buying his theory of the coincidence of a "grabber" parked at the Tom Thumb leaving before the boys came out of the store and getting ahead of the boys and parking in DR's driveway to wait. How would he know where the boys were heading? The old Tom Thumb was not directly at the end of this road where the perp would have watched them biking down there. It was a turn off to the right from that road. The boys could have come from Minnesota Street which runs through St. Joe, or any other home in that area. There were other homes off to the left of that road back then (before DR's driveway.)

It makes no sense that the perp just got lucky and the boys were one of maybe 5 families who actually lived out further on that dead end road.

Ryan's theory is the same as DR's theory, BTW, that there really was a mystery car there in his driveway because he saw a car turn around. He talks about his theory (or as much as he feels he can say) in a video interview previously posted on here. (I can dig it up if you need me to.)

LE has discounted this theory of DR's that there was a car parked up his driveway. I'm quite sure their main reason in discounting that theory is not "to pin something on DR." Since we are not privy to all the facts of the investigation, we don't know why they have rejected that theory. But I just wanted to point out that they have rejected that theory.
 

Ryan

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My theory does not suggest that the perp was parked at the Tom Thumb. My theory contends that the perp was parked near the intersection of the main road and side road that led to the Tom Thumb store. From here the perp could see the boys coming up the street and then unabtrusively observe them enter the store. It would not take a master of deductive reasoning to then assume that the boys would be returning back down the street from whence they came. In addition, the perp may have observed one or any of these boys sometime in the past, followed them to the Wetterling home but did not have the right opportunity to make an abduction attempt. Under the light of the Tom Thumb store he could easily recognize someone he had noticed on an earlier trolling event. This theory does not at all depend on "coincidence" but rather a determined perp.
 

helpful

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I think it's nearly impossible he hasn't been looked at and ruled out by this point, but what about Donald Blom? He lived in Saint Cloud in the 1980s and went by the name Donald Michael Albin Pince.

Watching a show about Katie Poirier right now reminded me.
 

margaret_diane

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Re: Post #434 Ryan

I, too, have followed the case since it's beginning. Before I knew much about DR, I thought he may have been involved, but I soon became convinced he wasn't. DR is an intelligent man, so it seems unimaginable that he would abduct a child next to his home. Does LE think he was just lurking at the end of his driveway? Then, too, there has been no evidence to implicate him, he has no background criminal history, he's voluntarily talked to LE, and he has passed a poly, and nothing has been found on the property. For years he's worked with kids as a teacher, yet no one has indicated in any way he is suspected of ill behavior.

You presentation of events sounds very logical. Why LE wants to follow their current line of thinking is unclear. I'm assuming they're still trying to implicate DR, no matter that logic doesn't lean in this direction.

Colored red by me, with respect for original poster.

Trino,
I'm so glad to see you're back! Its been a long time since I saw you post! Welcome back (even if I'm late in saying so!).

I just wanted to ask if we have ever heard LE indicate publicly that DR did in fact pass a poly? I don't recall that ever being made public officially, or by anyone at all? I actually think I recall hearing in an interview somewhere along the way that even DR does not know whether or not he passed the poly? I thought too that I read that LE had concerns about the inconsistencies of his account from that night?

I could be totally mistaken, and could totally have missed something - in which case, I hope someone can provide me some updated links and info. :)

I myself don't put a ton of stock into those poly tests. They aren't admissible (here in Ontario anyway) in any court of law due to concerns regarding lack of reliability. I have read too of various ways people attempt to "beat" the poly, and have read stories of how their attempts have worked to varying degrees. With that said though, it might help put some people at ease to know whether DR did in fact officially "pass" a poly.
Thanks. :)
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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Patty Wetterling Speaks in Owatonna

More than two decades after 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted in St. Joseph, Minnesota, the man who took him is still out there. Its a high-profile case that's received national attention and thrust Jacob's mom Patty into the spotlight.

April marks Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Over the years Patty has traveled around the country, bringing awareness to these issues. She did that in Owatonna Tuesday and at the same time sent a message of hope.


More: http://kaaltv.com/article/stories/S2052360.shtml?cat=10151
 

Trino

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Thank you for the welcome. I've been mostly lurking since an Oct surgery, but I also had a Feb surgery - both knee replacements. I've been an athlete all my life; my cartilage was just used up. I'm doing well, now, but I've been reluctant to post because I was on drugs for so long. I didn't want to be responsible for what I might have said (LOL).

DR said he passed a poly, gave numerous interviews, was hypnotized, plus he gave DNA. While I don't recall LE saying this, LE to my knowledge never refuted DR's claims. I guess I'm just assuming that LE over the years would have said DR's claims were false, if, indeed, they were.

I agree polys are not reliable. I guess LE had nothing else to go on, so they focused on DR. What amazed me is that after finding nothing and putting DR through Hades, there was no apology. Cripes! His employment was jeopardized, and he was getting death threats!

Like everyone, so it seems, I have nothing new to offer. I can only read what others write, rehash old opinions, and pray for a resolution for the Wetterlings.
 

KeepHopeAlive

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I'm really hoping (as I'm sure everyone is) that something comes of the new tips LE has received since Jacob's case aired on Nancy Grace's America's Missing.
 

Trino

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It will be 22 yrs next Oct since J disappeared. I can't help but think "loner," and if that's the case, it may be easier for the abductor to keep his secret.

Then, too, there's still the Abbey and the 17 priests who have been implicated in sexual abuse with no criminal charges. In a way, they can be classified as loners. If only to clear the record for the public, I still wonder why each and everyone of these men has not been interrogated about J.
 

concentric

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We have been trying to sift through what social interactions the Rassiers may have had with people in the community. There is limited information, of course.

I am not saying that Jacob was taken to Europe. It is simply an idea we contemplate occasionally.

However, I still can't get past the fact that DR's parents were in Europe.

Then my thought process goes back to this, as we have tried to discuss before:

Who knew that the Rassiers were in Europe?

and, additionally, I wonder:

Who helped them plan their trip to Europe?

Was there a priest who often visited their home?

and,

so many international visitors to the abbey.

Just questions that cross my inquiring mind.
 

Lotus

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I wonder about the DNA sample DR gave that could have tied him in with the Cold Spring abduction. If he was a match it wouldn't make any difference because of the statute of limitations, but at the same time if it wasn't a match I would think pursuing DR would be pointless. Also I've never ruled out the possibility that there was someone using DR and taking opportunity of the farm while DR's parents were away in Europe. It's possible the abductor is someone DR knows. But that's just one theory. Maybe there was another car in the driveway (despite lack of tire tracks?) or the abductor knew the lay of the land enough to maneuver through the trees with Jacob to a get away car parked someplace else.
 

kemo

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Apparently Jared, the victim of the Cold Springs case was referred for a "rape kit". Therefore DNA is probably available. If DR did give a DNA sample and it was tested, it would have been compared with the Cold Springs sample. Although Cold Springs could not be prosecuted due to Statue of Limitations, the results of the comparison would be extremely significant to the Jacob Wetterling case.

Law enforcement would have the discretion of either releasing or withholding the results of that test. If the test were positive, i.e. DR was the Cold Spring abductor, it is inconceivable that LE would not release this information. It would justify the actions they have take to pursue the investigation of DR (which are now rather controversial in St Joseph) and it would insure that DR would suffer at least some retribution for his crime (loss of job, standing in the community etc). It just isn't the type of evidence LE would "hold back". There is no way DR could arrange and "innocent explanation" for it. If the DNA was not a match, releasing the information would have the opposite effect.

The two abductions are so similar that it would be virtually impossible to prosecute someone for Wetterling if there was no rock solid forensic evidence and strong evidence that that person did not do Cold Springs. From what I can tell, the perp was described as much older and a very different body type and appearance than DR.

For what it’s worth, because the statue has expired for Cold Springs, the entire case file is available for anyone to review under FOI.



 

Trino

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Depending on WHEN DR gave a DNA sample, the statute of limitations may not have run out. Most likely he gave the sample years ago.
 

concentric

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We are probably never going to know who LE supposedly "cleared" in this case, and why.
 

shergal

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Colored red by me, with respect for original poster.

Trino,
I'm so glad to see you're back! Its been a long time since I saw you post! Welcome back (even if I'm late in saying so!).

I just wanted to ask if we have ever heard LE indicate publicly that DR did in fact pass a poly? I don't recall that ever being made public officially, or by anyone at all? I actually think I recall hearing in an interview somewhere along the way that even DR does not know whether or not he passed the poly? I thought too that I read that LE had concerns about the inconsistencies of his account from that night?

I could be totally mistaken, and could totally have missed something - in which case, I hope someone can provide me some updated links and info. :)

I myself don't put a ton of stock into those poly tests. They aren't admissible (here in Ontario anyway) in any court of law due to concerns regarding lack of reliability. I have read too of various ways people attempt to "beat" the poly, and have read stories of how their attempts have worked to varying degrees. With that said though, it might help put some people at ease to know whether DR did in fact officially "pass" a poly.
Thanks. :)

Margaret: According to this (link below) DR has said he's "taken" a lie detector test. He hasn't said he passed it.

http://www.behindthepinecurtain.com/wordpress/?p=1600

"According to a recent interview given by Dan Rassier, 54, he’s submitted a DNA sample, undergone hypnosis, and taken a lie detector test. According to news sources, Rassier has been “cooperating” with authorities for the “past 20 years”. Details which were never reported in the press until the latest search of the Rassier farm."
 

shergal

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We are probably never going to know who LE supposedly "cleared" in this case, and why.

I found something interesting while reading about another case. This man, Father James Porter, was questioned in regards to Jacob's kidnapping by the FBI. I don't believe I've seen him mentioned before as a past suspect in anything I've read. This makes me wonder if maybe the FBI did question all those priests on restrictions at St. John's and we just never heard about it.

He denied any involvement, of course, which any POI or suspect would probably do, so I guess if people just said they weren't involved, the FBI dropped them as suspects. (JMO) Kind of frustrating. Although that does make it more interesting that never have dropped DR as a POI.

Here's the info on Father James Porter being questioned about Jacob:

"1989, December. After a phone call to Detective Bill Hutton of the Oakdale Police Department from Frank Fitzpatrick, Porter is interviewed by the FBI in connection with the disappearance of an 11-year-old boy named Jacob Wetterling. Porter admits to the FBI to molesting around 30 or 40 children while he was a Catholic priest. FBI do nothing." More at link..
http://survivorconnections.net/flfvsporter.html

"FBI agents visited Porter's home in December 1989, acting on a tip from Oakdale police, and questioned him about the October 22 disappearance of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling from St. Joseph, Minnesota. Porter denied any knowledge of the kidnapping (still unsolved), but admitted molesting 30 or 40 children during his years as a priest." (More at link..)
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/predators/porter/revelations_6.html?sect=2
 

concentric

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Just pushing the thanks button isn't enough regarding your find, shergal.
 

margaret_diane

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I agree with Concentric -- terrific research and find Shergal!!

Don't you all just wish that after a period of time, police would go ahead and release all the information they had on cold cases, and hand it over to willing, volunteer researchers such as ourselves and say.... "organize yourselves into a few teams, here is what we have, find something we missed and bring it back to our attention... "GO!"??

In a case such as this, it seems so much more could be done / could have BEEN done already -- but we the willing volunteers end up with tied hands due to lack of accessible information!!
 

celticthyme

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Information brought over from the Gosch site. David Shurter is the fellow who made the "Walking tour of Omaha," video, and who believes his father had a hand in Jacob's disappearance due to some Minnesota/ Lake cabin connection:This blog (found by keephopealive) backs up Noreen's claim of a child sex ring. The author believes his father kidnapped Johnny G, Jacob W and another boy who went missing from the same lake his MN family cabin was on.
http://www.davidshurter.com
 
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