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TOPIC: Was Johnny ever in Denver?


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Was Johnny ever in Denver?
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I'm looking at the summer of 1986, around July/August; around the Capital Hill area.

Thanks in advance.



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Trocaria:

I only know of this paragraph from the AMW article on Johnny...

http://www.amw.com/missing_children/case.cfm?id=26170

In a bizarre coincidence, that summer a friend of the Gosch's was in a Denver restaurant and noticed painted on the bathroom wall, in bright red nail polish, Johnny Gosch was here. Roy Stephens showed a series of photos, including the Mexican restaurant, to Bonacci. Without prompting, Bonacci identified the restaurant and recalled how he, Johnny, and Mike went into the bathroom and Johnny painted "Johnny Gosch was here" on the wall. Bonacci even produced a letter from his friend Mike mentioning how JG wrote on the bathroom walls in a Mexican restaurant -- in red nail polish.

It says on the web-page that the infamous leaked pictures of Johnny tied up were debunked by some cops in Florida. This could be a deliberate effort to debunk the whole story, including Nick Bryant's upcoming documentary, which uses several of these pictures as evidence in the film. I have heard rumor that he had already removed the pictures awhile ago - but the trailer that is posted online has them in there.

-- Edited by geogaddi00 on Friday 17th of December 2010 12:42:59 AM

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At the time the West Des Moines Police  called me to tell me they were going to do a press release saying the photos were not Johnny, I warned them that they would look like a pile of "monkey nuts" within a few days because the photos are of Johnny.   They proceeded with their press release despite the warning.   Later it was shown that  their source, Nelson Zalva had no evidence what so ever and they had proceeded with their press release just based on a phone call from Zalva.   No Evidence .... can anyone believe that a Police Department can operate this way?   

I also had the photos authenticated by a Photo Lab which the police decided they did not want to accept either.   It was the Natl. center who authenticated the photos. 


The photos which were debunked by a Florida Detective, Nelson Zalva was a planned effort to throw the public in the opposite direction.   Zalva realized his mistake and realized the photos were not part of his 1979 investigation.   He called the West Des Moines Police and asked them to do another press release correcting the "earlier msinformation".   The police declined to correct the story.   The Des Moines Register ran the story that Zalva had no evidence what so ever to back up his story.

We have had personal contact with Zalva and this is the accurate account of what took place concerning his mistake which was widely publicized.   It served the purpose of the West Des Moines Police to leave the impression with the public that the photos were not genuine.   



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johnny's mom....i am a 44 year old guy in nyc (grew up on long island) and i think of johnny gosch all the time....all the time....holiday season must be so hard..............................

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Stephen Kilstein


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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. Johnny's Mom, so good to see you here!

Yes, Noreen, I can indeed imagine the WDM detectives operatiing the way they do. They are about as worthless as "titts on a boar" as my Iowa Grandpa would say.

I used to live in Iowa, was born there. My youth straddled the two states of IA and...of Colorado. In September 1982, my Mom put me on a plane to IA to go see my Dad, sending me off with the benediction of "at least I don't have to worry about anything bad happening to you there!"

48 hours later, the world caved in on Johnny's family and changed the way folks in that part of the state saw themselves and their communities. A lot of doors got locked that night for the first time in years.

The reason I ask about Denver, not just Colorado as a whole, is that I think I may have seen Johnny on a RTD bus in the summer of 1986.
I had just come from an interveiw with the State of CO. Got on the 0 bus that went up Colfax, an long hour ride into Aurora and through some very dicey parts of town.
About 6 blocks from where I got on at the capital, a kid gets on. He looks out of it, maybe even a little off in the head. Then I look again.

He had dark hair, to the collar and in need of a shampoo. He had glasses. Wore a striped t-shirt. Pimples. But something about his eyes, nose and mouth made me suck in my breath. He looked like Johnny.

Part of me wanted to get up right there and slip into the seat behind him, call his name and see if it rang a bell. But then I took in the dark hair, the glasses...nah. Johnny was lighter, didn't wear specs. Besides, what'd he be doing all the way over here? If he was kidnapped into the juvie sex trade, wouldn't he be in NYC? Or LA?

I kept an eye on him. He stayed on the bus for about 8 or 10 blocks then got off, walking towards the south. I was gobsmacked at what I had seen and it has stuck with me all this time.

Would Johnny have ever been let out on his own by that point? The part of town he got on and off at were not good, not at all. Indeed, as I would come to find out, a lot of young males plied the world's oldest profession in front of the Centenial Building near the state capital were I worked.

The more I have read, the more I find out...I could about kick myself for not following my gut and trying to make contact with the kid on the bus. If that was he, please forgive me!

I pray that God has John in his keeping and that the day will come when he can at last, come home.


-- Edited by Trocaria on Friday 17th of December 2010 02:42:46 PM

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I just want to further lay to rest Zalva's claim that the photos were investigated in 1979.  This was all discussed here previously, but for those who are new,  the pictures contain a baseball banner, and a World's Fair shirt that can be verified to have been produced in 1982.  They clearly did not exist in 1979.


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Gingerbread Man,

Thank you for that point, I had forgotten about the World's Fair Tee Shirt.  Appreciate you mentioning it for every one here.   It was so clear when this all happened that the police were conveniently trying to debunk the photos being genuine.  It served their purpose completely.

Johnny's Mom

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Forum members ought to be sending gingerbreadmans' info to the Des Moines Register and to police departments throughout the Metro.  I know I will be.  Thanks Gingerbreadman for you always enlightening posts.

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Despite the fact that the information from Zalva has so clearly been debunked, it has long been a source of constant annoyance to me that many Internet sites still cling to it as gospel. On the other hand, it only goes to show that people will pretty much believe what they want to. My observation, though, is that were I to have been Zalva and had he my old job at the Court, he wouldve been skinned alive and roasted over a proverbial barbecue pit for submitting a statement in a report that was unsupported by the record on appeal, which he clearly did in this instance. Unhappily, I did just that a few times while I was there, and was deservedly trounced for having done. Id also like to observe that I wish the AMW web site would at least frame this part of the equation to more properly fit the reality of the situation at hand i.e., that while this detective from Florida claimed that the pictures were not of John but were of other boys who had participated in a sort of game back in 1979, three years before Johns disappearance, these claims were not substantiated by any evidence and that, in fact, had there been any evidence even to justify this conclusion, he (Zalva) lost it. I suppose I could respect Zalva were he to be man enough to say, Gee, I think I missed this one and shouldnt have shot off my mouth; I actually dont have the evidence to support my claim. Thats something my father taught me to do when I was knee-high to an ant: Admit you made a mistake when you did, apologize, and go on. Sorry; just ranting. In any case, wherever he is, I do wish John all the best; we could all use a lot more happiness these days.

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