Johnny Gosch abduction

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On the morning of September 5, 1982, West Des Moines paperboy Johnny Gosch was abducted while on his paper route. With the police and FBI being unhelpful, Johnny's mother Noreen Gosch took matters into her own hands, hiring private investigators to pursue the case. Over the next decade, hundreds of leads poured in, as did a couple credible sightings of Johnny indicating that he was still alive. Then in 1990, the Gosch family got their first major break when Franklin child sex ring victim Paul Bonacci came forward to reveal that he was forced to help kidnap Johnny Gosch. His testimony revealed a sinister well-protected pedophile underground responsible for victimizing Johnny along with hundreds, if not thousands, of other children. Bonacci knew so much unreleased information about the Gosch case that both Noreen and her then-husband came to believe Bonacci, but the police dismissed him as a liar, never even interviewing him. Though evidence has continued to accumulate supporting Bonacci's disclosures about a high-level pedophile ring, the Johnny Gosch case remains officially unsolved.

Background

Franklin scandal

Main article: Franklin child sex ring

Timeline

Suspicious activity

[Photos taken of Johnny by a woman with California plates][1][2]

[Hang-up phone calls at the Gosch home][3]

[Weird encounter with a policeman at a football game on Friday][4][5]

[Insistence by Johnny that he could go on the paper route by himself][6][7]

Day of the abduction

Police and FBI response

[Taking 45 minutes until their arrival, during which time Noreen already collected the witness accounts; suspecting Johnny was a runaway]

[On September 8, Noreen says she told the police about suspicious incidents occurring just before the abduction, like the phone calls and policeman who interacted with Johnny at the football game]

[Noreen sees a story from around September 24 on two Des Moines girls forced into prostitution in Omaha NE and suggests the police investigate; when Cooney refuses, she holds a press conference to call attention to the story, and soon receives a death threat to "stop making waves"]

Noreen's investigation

[Hiring private detectives within about a month of Johnny's abduction]

[Dennis Whelan attending a child auction in Houston TX in December 1982 to look for Johnny Gosch]

On March 2, 1983, Johnny Gosch was sighted in a large Southwestern city[8], later identified as being in Oklahoma.[1] A boy who was being chased by two men ran up to a woman and told her "Please, lady, help me. My name is John David Gosch." before the men dragged him away. Police initially dismissed the woman's report as a "family situation", but after seeing Johnny Gosch's photograph on TV, the woman recognized him as the boy she had seen and reported it to police again. The report made its way to the Gosch family's private detectives at the Investigative Research Agency, who checked it out with the FBI. Both the private detectives and FBI came to the conclusion that the boy was indeed Johnny Gosch.[8]

Early in 1984, Noreen was first contacted by a private investigator from the Washington DC area named Paul Bishop. As she would later reveal, Bishop identified himself as a CIA asset. [...]

In June 1984, Noreen was contacted by a "local man" who claimed to have valuable information on Johnny's case.[7] According to Noreen's sworn 1999 testimony[9] and 2000 book[10], this was Des Moines private investigator Sam Soda, calling her to arrange a meeting. They met at Soda's office on June 13, 1984. Noreen brought a tape recorder, switched it on, and listened as Soda revealed that there would be a second kidnapping taking place in Des Moines. Soda specified that it would occur on the south side of Des Moines, the victim would be another paperboy, and it would take place on the second weekend in August. He credited the information to an "informant". Noreen thanked him for the information, but was puzzled by why he didn't go the police.

By Noreen's account, she then unsuccessfully tried to convince law enforcement and the media to heed the warning about a second kidnapping. [...] Only Des Moines Register reporter Frank Santiago was willing to listen to the tape.

Sometime around August 1984, Noreen was invited to testify in Washington DC at Senator Arlen Specter's hearing on pedophile rings. Her book written in 2000 called the hearings "Organized Crime and its Relationship to Kidnapping" or the "Organized Crime Hearings and it’s Relationship to Missing Children", but the published title was the "Effect of Pornography on Women and Children". Paul Bishop accompanied her to the testimony, which took place on August 8, 1984. [...][11]

[Disappearance of Eugene Martin exactly as Sam Soda revealed in advance]

A police sketch of the man seen talking to Eugene Martin just before he disappeared

In September 1984, a federal grand jury in Des Moines subpoenaed Paul Bishop to testify about the Gosch and Martin cases. [...][12]

During the month of October, Sam Soda exposed a pedophile named Frank Sykora who worked for the Des Moines Register. [...]

In June 1985, a dollar bill surfaced in Sioux City IA with the message "I am alive. Johnny Gosch." written on it. Three handwriting experts confirmed the message as having been written by Johnny Gosch.[13][14]

According to Noreen, shortly after the disappearance of Eugene Martin, she and several others in Des Moines were anonymously mailed a rather curious modified version of the "KIDNAPPED: JOHN DAVID GOSCH" poster. Below the sketch of the man from the blue Ford Fairmont was another sketch that perfectly resembled Sam Soda, and perhaps to illustrate that point, a newspaper photograph of Soda was included right next to the sketch. An arrow was drawn from the sketch of Soda to the sketch of the man in the Ford Fairmont.[15] While the exact date that the poster was mailed is unknown, because it incorporated a photograph of Sam Soda from a Des Moines Register article on October 10, 1985[16], the poster must have been sent in late 1985 at the earliest. It is interesting to note that the Sam Soda composite sketch was not drawn from scratch, but rather modified from the sketch of the man in the blue car, as the hairline, ears, nose, and facial structure are identical. Thus, the poster appears to have been suggesting that Sam Soda was the man in the car seen on the morning of Johnny's abduction.

The poster Noreen says was sent to her shortly after Martin's disappearance

As Noreen would later recount in 1988, the "local man" who called in June 1984 offering to help on the case (Sam Soda) soon attracted suspicion from the Gosch family because of how much he knew about the pedophile underworld in Des Moines.[7] His foreknowledge of Martin's disappearance and his exposure of a previously unknown pedophile at the Des Moines Register confirm that. Noreen claims that police began monitoring the man, which in turn led the Gosches to start receiving harassment and threats at home.[7]

[Oklahoma extortion and/or contract murder attempt in August 1986]

Following the Tulsa incident, the Gosch family feared for their safety, so Noreen held a press conference saying that they knew who kidnapped Johnny.[7] At the press conference, Noreen referred to three men from Des Moines along with a pedophile "contact" in Houston. She asserted that police also knew the identities of the men and were "doing everything within their legal boundaries" to arrest them, a statement to which police gave no comment. Noreen acknowledged that her announcement might cause the kidnappers to flee but pointed out that "that would be revealing, too, wouldn’t it?".[17] Following the press conference, said Noreen, the "local man" being watched by police (Sam Soda) left town and the harassment against the family stopped. Not long afterwards, the man returned to Des Moines.[7] It is unclear whether the perpetrators she named were actual suspects or if the announcement was some kind of bluff to put pressure on the real person of interest (Soda).

On Valentine's Day in 1988, a typed letter by someone claiming to be Johnny arrived at the Gosch home, postmarked from Idaho.[1] The author said that his captors dyed his hair and changed his looks, and that he was forced to do things that disgusted him. He asked the Gosches for their continued love and forgiveness even though he would not be allowed to return home. The letter was signed "Your son, Johnny Gosch", a very distinctive way that Johnny used to sign notes.[7] According to Noreen, the letter was further validated by its reference to the 1983 incident with Johnny in Oklahoma[1], which was publicized but never had the city revealed.

Bonacci comes forward

By September 1990, the Gosch family stated that their investigation had "wound down". Nevertheless, they held firm to their belief that Johnny was taken out of the area in a "well organized" kidnapping, and resolved to continue working on their case.[18] It was around that time that they received a major lead from John DeCamp, the lawyer for Franklin child sex ring victim Paul Bonacci.

As DeCamp recounted it, he was reading a transcript of Bonacci's interview with a psychiatrist, and noticed that Bonacci mentioned an "incident" involving a newspaper carrier in Iowa. DeCamp was struck by its similarity to the Gosch case and went to the library to verify the details, confirming that the date stated by Bonacci matched the date of Johnny's abduction.[19] He contacted the Gosch family in late 1990 to inform them he had a client who confessed to helping abduct Johnny Gosch. The call was taken by John Gosch Sr., who did not tell Noreen about the new information. Though initially skeptical, Leonard Gosch ultimately did come down to the prison to meet Bonacci.[20] DeCamp recalled that John came to Nebraska a couple weeks after their initial contact, and walked into the Lincoln Correctional Center to meet with Bonacci. He asked Bonacci "Do you know who I am?" and Bonacci responded "You look like—it can't be—the eyes, you look like Johnny Gosch".[21] John came away from the meeting believing that Bonacci was "sincere"[22] and telling the truth[20].

Around the time John met with Bonacci in prison, he hired Omaha private investigator Roy Stephens to check out Bonacci's story.[23][20] Stephens spent hundreds of hours interviewing Bonacci and tracking down leads in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado that Bonacci provided. Bonacci described to Stephens how a man named "Emilio", who made his living abducting and selling children, brought him to Des Moines to help abduct Johnny Gosch. "Emilio" was the driver of the blue car who stopped to ask Johnny for directions, and Bonacci was in the back of the car, given the task of holding Johnny down after he was shoved into the car. Two other people were also implicated by Bonacci in the kidnapping, one of whom was a local contact in Des Moines. The night before, they stayed at a hotel in Des Moines.[23] Going from a skeptic of Bonacci's to a believer in his account[1], Stephens insisted that Bonacci "hasn't told me anything that hasn't been true"[22].

Noreen Gosch did not learn about Bonacci until March 1991, although accounts differ on whether it was her husband[20] or Roy Stephens[24] who first informed her. In her 2000 book, Noreen recounts how Stephens called her about Bonacci's confession and then visited Des Moines to show her tapes of his interviews with Bonacci. She recalls that on the tapes, her husband seemed uninterested and bored, falling asleep at one point.[24] In a 2011 episode of "Vanished with Beth Holloway" about the Johnny Gosch abduction, John can indeed be seen falling asleep on the tape.[25]

To test Bonacci's veracity, the Gosches gave Stephens a photo for Bonacci to identify, of a Des Moines man whom they had already suspected of being involved in the abduction. Stephens only received a photo, not a name or any other identifying information. When Stephens placed it in a lineup of a dozen photos, Bonacci picked out the Des Moines man, said the man's name, and identified him as the local contact who came to the motel the night before with a photo of Johnny informing the kidnappers that he was the kid they were going to take.[20] As Noreen told the Des Moines Register, this "contact" in Des Moines had "been under suspicion by the family for some time".[26] The Des Moines man was not identified in news reports at the time, but the Gosches said that Bonacci provided good information on him and identified his photograph, and stated that private investigators were gathering information on him almost daily.[22] His first name of "Sam" would eventually be publicized, and in 2000, Noreen explicitly revealed that the man picked out of the lineup was Sam Soda.[27] It can be seen above that even as far back as 1986, Soda was suspected by the Gosch family.

At the end of June 1991, it was made public that Roy Stephens was investigating "good information" that recently surfaced in Johnny's case.[28] No specifics were revealed until a month later, when news stories began to break about Bonacci's confession to helping abduct Johnny Gosch.

In October 1991, Bonacci gave his first detailed public account of the Johnny Gosch abduction. He claimed to have met the ringleader, "Emilio", as a young boy living in Carter Lake IA. The day before the abduction, "Emilio" took him from Omaha to a hotel in Des Moines, where they met men named "Sam" and "Tony". Bonacci described "Sam" as white, medium height, and heavy and "Tony" as tall and blond with a bad complexion. In the motel room the night before the abduction, "Sam" was showing "Emilio" photographs of various paperboys, telling him how much money he could make off of them. One photo, that of Johnny Gosch, was separated from the stack. Early the next morning, all of them went out to abduct Johnny. Bonacci rode in the back of the car driven by "Emilio". At a certain point, the car stopped and a boy was shoved in. Following the orders of "Emilio", Bonacci held the boy down and chloroformed him. All of the kidnappers drove off, with Johnny's body being transferred between the other two vehicles driven by "Sam" and "Tony". They stopped in Council Bluffs IA to get a drink, then brought Johnny to a farmhouse near Sioux City IA owned by a man named "Charlie". Johnny was scared and crying, and asked Bonacci what was going to happen to him. For at least a week, Johnny was kept in a locked windowless room at the farmhouse. Subsequently, Johnny ended up being held captive in Colorado, where Bonacci saw him again in March 1986.[29]

Paul Bonacci's account of meeting Johnny Gosch predated the visit from John Gosch Sr. In October 1990, while Bonacci was in prison (he had been since 1989), Caracorp investigator Robert Hansel met with Alisha Owen's mother to discuss the contents of Bonacci's diary. One passage referred to an incident in September 1982, in which "Amelio" took Bonacci to a farmhouse in Iowa where two boys were being held captive. The older of the two boys was named Johnny, came from Des Moines, was about 13 years old, had blue eyes with brown hair, and wore a Kim's Academy shirt with black athletic pants.[30] All of these characteristics noted down in Bonacci's diary, including the clothing, match up with Johnny Gosch at the time of his abduction.[31] Not only would Bonacci not have had access to these diaries while in prison, but forensic analysis verified that Bonacci's diaries were written contemporaneously with the events they referred to (see the Franklin page for more info). Robert Hansel confirmed that Johnny Gosch had surfaced in the Franklin investigation no later than July 1990, and from other kids besides Bonacci.[32]

Throughout the past decade, many people had attempted to deceive the Gosch family into thinking they had information on Johnny. But unlike these hoaxers, Bonacci knew a substantial amount of information about Johnny Gosch and the abduction that had never been released to the public:

  • Physical characteristics: Multiple scars and marks on his body; stutter when stressed[33]
  • Aspects of Johnny's life: Noreen taking Johnny to her yoga classes[33]
  • Photos taken of Johnny before the abduction: In Paul Bonacci's account of the abduction, he described how "Sam" brought a photograph of Johnny and told the kidnappers that he was the boy they would kidnap. Not only did Bonacci know about a third party taking a photograph of Johnny, which the Gosches learned from a neighbor but never publicized, his description of the photograph brought to the motel matched the location where the photos of Johnny were taken.[22]
  • How the abduction took place: As discussed above, Bonacci identified Sam Soda's photograph from a lineup and named his as "Sam". The fact that he could identify a Des Moines man whom the Gosches had already come to suspect in their own investigation confirms Bonacci's knowledge of the circumstances behind the abduction. Moreover, Bonacci accurately described the multiple vehicles that were involved in the abduction. As explained below, press reports consistently claimed that there were different vehicles on Ashworth and Marcourt, even though the Gosches had concluded that the same car simply drove around the block. Bonacci only described one blue car that approached Johnny and then drove around the block to abduct him[23], contradicting public reports but matching what private investigators had found. Aside from the car(s) publicly mentioned by police, the Gosches' private investigators also purportedly discovered a van had been in the neighborhood, and Bonacci knew about it. Noreen described how one of her investigators spoke to a man who noticed something very strange on the morning of the abduction: a van was sitting parked on the street with its motor running, after some time a car drove up, the passengers of that car transferred a large object covered with a blanket into their van, and then both vehicles left.[34] Bonacci independently matched these unpublicized details in his own account of the abduction, mentioning a van driven by "Tony" that they transferred Johnny's body into. He also described there being a station wagon near the scene of the abduction that was driven by "Sam".[29] According to Noreen, the Iowa DMV confirmed to her that Sam Soda did own a vehicle matching Bonacci's description.[35]
  • "Johnny Gosch was here" at a Denver restaurant: Bonacci's story to Roy Stephens, given in late 1990 and early 1991, involved Johnny being taken to Colorado. At the time, there was no reason for anyone to think Johnny had been in Colorado. Then in the summer of 1991, family friends of the Gosches who were at a Mexican restaurant in Denver CO noticed "Johnny Gosch was here" written on the bathroom wall. This was a remarkable after-the-fact validation of Bonacci's claims regarding Johnny's whereabouts. After this sighting made its way back to the Gosch family, Roy Stephens went to check out the lead. He took several photos of the restaurant, including its exterior and the bathroom wall. When Bonacci was shown a picture of nothing but the restaurant from outside, he accurately described its distinctive interior and recounted how he, Johnny, and another boy were painting their nails, then went into the bathroom and wrote on the wall using their red nail polish. Indeed, the message turned out to have been written with red nail polish, validating Bonacci's scenario of being with Johnny.[36][1]

Bonacci had also received many letters during his incarceration which referred to "JG" or "Johnny", "Emilio", and "the Col". These were, according to Bonacci, sent to him by former victims of the Franklin ring. One letter postmarked June 1990 from Sacramento CA referred to "JG" getting "face surgery" and going "back to blond", and stated that "The Col is gone to Mexico and took JG with him". Another letter alluded to other missing boys from Des Moines like Eugene Martin, stating that "J.G. was not the only boy we got from D.M.".[37] Following his revelation of it to Roy Stephens, Bonacci showed Stephens a letter discussing the 1986 graffiti at the Mexican restaurant in Denver, which included the excerpt "I remember the restaurant in Colorado we painted are nails and I wrote on the wall with JG".[1][36]

Media exposure

[First America's Most Wanted episodes airs in November 1992]

[Jimmy Gibson comes forward in early 1993 and meets with Noreen; he stays in various places such as Nebraska with DeCamp and Rev. Morrow, the Gosch hobby farm outside of Woodward IA, and perhaps Mary Schmit's hotel in Deadwood SD]

[Subsequent episodes of America's Most Wanted, which interview Jimmy and visit the house in Colorado]

[Charlie Kerr farm surveillance ruined by Leonard John Gosch; divorce not long after; hobby farm in Dallas County IA sold]

Johnny's alleged visit

Further discoveries

[Paul Bonacci tells the full story of the kidnapping from start to finish in his 1999 testimony][9]

[Noreen learning from former West Des Moines mayor George Mills that Orval Cooney would attend the pedophile parties in Omaha with Robert Wadman]

[P.J. Smith revealing that he actually saw Johnny being forced into the Ford Fairmont, which confirms Bonacci's story]

[Jeff Gannon controversy, which subsequently faded away and was disavowed by Noreen]

[Arrest of George Paul Bishop in Virginia in 2005, followed by the revelation that he tracked down runaways from Straight Inc.]

[The photos of boys bounded and gagged being sent to Noreen starting in 2006]

TV and documentaries

[John Gosch Sr. finally began appearing on TV shows after a long absence from any involvement with the case, and began disputing Paul Bonacci's story even though he had endorsed it back in the 1990s]

[Who Took Johnny documentary in which Bonacci gave his first on-camera interview in decades]

[Controversial podcast called Faded Out started in early 2018]

Perpetrators

  • Sam Soda - brought a photo album of paperboys, from which Johnny was singled out for abduction; probably the liaison between the Omaha group and the local pedophiles in Des Moines; driver of the green Ford station wagon
  • "Emilio" - directed the abduction; driver of the blue Ford Fairmont, who stopped to ask Johnny for directions
  • "Tony" - followed Johnny on foot and muscled him into the Ford Fairmont; driver of the white van
  • Paul Bonacci - brought along; forced to lure Johnny and later undress and molest him
  • Charlie Kerr - ran the farm near Sioux City IA where they kept Johnny until a buyer arrived
  • Michael Aquino - "the Colonel" who bought Johnny and kept him on a Colorado ranch

Controversies

Other missing kids

It is suspected, but not confirmed, that the 1984 disappearance of Eugene Martin and 1986 disappearance of Marc Allen are both connected to the same pedophile ring said to have abducted Johnny. All three boys were from Des Moines and about 13 years old at the time of their disappearances, and roughly two years passed between each boy going missing, implying some kind of pattern. Johnny and Eugene were particularly alike, as they were both paperboys for the Des Moines Register.

Another boy in the Midwest commonly linked to Johnny's abduction is Jacob Wetterling, who was kidnapped in Minnesota in 1989. Jacob's involvement in the Franklin pedophile ring is highly disputed. In 2016, local pedophile Danny Heinrich confessed to abducting and murdering Jacob, and led them to his body, which was the same age as when he was abducted. Some have claimed, however, that the body found was not really Jacob at all. Former NYPD officer Jim Rothstein, who did investigative work for Noreen, endorses those claims. Prior to Heinrich's confession, Noreen divulged in her book that Bonacci had heard in a letter from another Franklin victim that "Emilio" and Charlie Kerr as participants in Jacob's abduction. She also said in a 2013 Franklin Files post, likely citing Rothstein who corroborated the information in a 2018 interview, that Sam Soda was in St. Cloud immediately before the kidnapping.

[Michaela Garecht, abducted from Northern California in 1988, was likely another victim of "Tony"; she and Amber Swartz-Garcia, kidnapped earlier that year, were both likely victims of human trafficker and NAMBLA associate Richard Helwig]

Visit by Johnny

Father's involvement

Since the late 1990s, there have been suggestions that Johnny's father Leonard John Gosch was complicit in his son's kidnapping. No definitive evidence of his involvement has ever surfaced. All the while, Noreen Gosch and others have alleged many instances of suspicious behavior on LJG's part, and he is known to be deceptive about key facts of the case.

One question that has never been answered is why Johnny, on the one day he got abducted, did the paper route by himself instead of being accompanied by his father as usual. As Noreen stated in 1988[7] and in her 2000 book[6], LJG always went with Johnny on Sunday mornings, and LJG himself said in the film Who Took Johnny that "I was with him every Sunday morning except that particular Sunday morning that he was kidnapped"[38]. Going out that morning without LJG left Johnny far more open to being abducted; indeed, it is unlikely that an abduction would have succeeded in LJG's presence. That Johnny broke this pattern for the first time on September 5, 1982 and happened to be abducted the same day is incredible enough to raise suspicion that him being alone that morning was planned. At first glance, since it was up to Johnny to wake his father, not the other way around, this suspicion does not reflect on LJG. Noreen stated as far back as 1988 that on the night before his kidnapping, Johnny asked to do the route alone, and she and her husband refused, but he disobeyed to deliver papers by himself that morning.[7] But Noreen claimed in her book that when Johnny asked to do the route on his own, LJG initially said yes before Noreen overruled him. Furthermore, even though Noreen refused his request, Johnny came back downstairs shortly after going to bed to hug his mother again and tell her "you are the best".[6] Based on that, there are indications that LJG went behind Noreen's back to ensure that Johnny would go out unaccompanied the next morning.

This was far from the only irregular occurrence involving LJG that Noreen alleged in her book. According to her, LJG began acting very erratically a few months prior to Johnny's abduction, and his behavior only worsened afterwards. While many of her accusations about LJG have not been corroborated, some of them have, and his inconsistent/false statements about the case (see below) illustrate a general lack of credibility on his part.

Early on in 1982, LJG allegedly developed a very hateful attitude, which he took out on all of Noreen's kids but especially her older son Joe Gosch. In June 1982, he purportedly arranged a fishing trip with Joe and Johnny to Lake of the Ozarks because it might be their "last or only opportunity to do so", and when they got back, Noreen's sons told her that LJG was very evidently depressed. The next month, while LJG was on a business trip in Raleigh NC, he allegedly called Noreen threatening to kill himself because he could "no longer live with it", and she had to make the Raleigh police do a welfare check. It can be surmised from Noreen's account that something happened in 1982 that put LJG under a substantial amount of stress.

Then in August 1982, Noreen claims that LJG took Johnny on a day trip to Omaha, with one of their destinations being Offutt Air Force Base. Johnny was said to have had a foggy memory of the trip. Per Noreen's account, immediately after the Omaha trip, she and LJG began receiving those hang-up phone calls every Sunday morning around 1 AM. They continued until the day of Johnny's abduction, when LJG answered not with "Wrong number" as he usually did, but instead gave the caller a series of affirmative responses. After Johnny was kidnapped, the calls stopped. These calls have only received limited corroboration (see below), but if true, they raise questions about what LJG was up to in the weeks just before Johnny's abduction.

After Johnny was kidnapped, Noreen was forced to shoulder most of the responsibility for keeping the case alive, as LJG was less inclined to go out in the public eye. Behind the scenes, meanwhile, the marriage was in serious turmoil according to Noreen. LJG began spending most of his time on purported business trips, not informing Noreen of his plans, whereabouts, or contact information while he was gone. Much of his time away was spent in Lincoln NE and Omaha NE. They did still make public appearances together on the case, but some of them turned disastrous. Following an event near Davenport IA on August 17, 1984 that they were invited to, LJG severely beat Noreen[39], an accusation corroborated by Scott County sheriff's deputy Sam Raley[40]:

Letter from a former sheriff's deputy who saw Noreen after she was beaten by her husband John on August 17, 1984

After Franklin scandal victim Paul Bonacci confessed his involvement in Johnny's abduction, his attorney John DeCamp informed the Gosch family, but Noreen has accused LJG of hiding this information from her. It was acknowledged even back in 1992 that LJG checked out Bonacci on his own for several months before Noreen found out[20], and LJG confirmed in 2018 interviews that he visited Bonacci in prison with John DeCamp and private investigator Roy Stephens but not his wife[41][42]. The question is whether LJG's intent was to inform Noreen about Bonacci eventually or keep the information hidden from her indefinitely. While the 1992 article claims that it was LJG who informed her about Bonacci, there are doubts about how accurately it describes Noreen and LJG's motivations. It claims that LJG checked out Bonacci during a period of "six or seven months" from late 1990 to March 1991 when Noreen had "completely shut down on the case", but there are newspaper quotes of her during that period which contradict that.[43] So it is unexplained why LJG spent a long period of time investigating Bonacci without telling Noreen. Per Noreen's later account in her book, she was informed not by her husband but by Roy Stephens, and her recollection is partially corroborated (see above) with respect to LJG falling asleep on the tapes that Roy showed her. That would support the idea that LJG did not plan to inform her about Bonacci.

In 1999 court testimony[9] and her book, Noreen claimed that LJG went to even greater lengths to hide Bonacci from her, visiting key people from the Franklin investigation with a woman other than Noreen who he introduced as his wife. Noreen's book has a picture of this alleged Noreen impersonator standing beside LJG, and the woman is exactly who Noreen claims: a Nebraska private investigator who used to work with Roy Stephens. Yet the woman in question denies ever playing the role of a Noreen impostor, and insists the image is faked. There is no definitive proof either way at the moment. If, however, the image is authentic, then it is clear that LJG did have someone impersonate his wife, which certainly indicates an intent to deceive Noreen.

The final alleged incident between Noreen and LJG had to do with the investigation of Charlie Kerr, on whose Iowa farmhouse Johnny was said to be held for a brief period of time following his abduction. Bonacci only knew Kerr by his first name "Charlie", but according to Noreen, he was able to draw a picture which Roy Stephens matched to Kerr with the help of the Sioux City authorities. Kerr was described by Noreen as having a lengthy rap sheet for sexual offenses against children.[44] The county attorney in Sioux City then purportedly arranged for a months-long surveillance operation on Kerr. One day in 1993, the county attorney informed Noreen that they were about to arrest Charlie Kerr, and she told her husband, believing she could trust him. Later that day Noreen got an angry call from the county attorney, saying that LJG had driven up to Kerr's trailer and gone inside to speak with him, which resulted in Kerr fleeing the area before they could arrest him. According to Noreen, for whatever reason, LJG went to tip off Charlie Kerr about the impending arrest. This incident has not been definitively proven, but Jimmy Gibson corroborated the story (see below) and certain details check out: Noreen described Kerr as having a record of a pedophilia and living in a trailer, both of which are proven true by a Sioux City police report[45]. It appears that the arrest of one of the perpetrators in Johnny's abduction was sabotaged by Johnny's own father, which is highly suspicious. Noreen and LJG divorced very shortly thereafter in September 1993.

Following the divorce between him and Noreen, LJG disappeared from public view, aside from a statement to the Des Moines Register in 1999 denouncing Noreen's claim that Johnny had visited her[46]. He then reemerged around 2011 to give his own side of the story: to "Vanished with Beth Holloway" in 2011, to the company Rumur behind Who Took Johnny in 2012, and most recently to Sarah DiMeo who ran the Faded Out podcast in 2018. LJG insisted that Noreen and Paul Bonacci's version of events was untrue. However, numerous statements that he made were at odds with the established record and even his own prior statements:

  • Flip-flop on Paul Bonacci: LJG told Sarah that he knew Paul Bonacci was lying from their very first meeting. He claimed that he asked Bonacci how tall Johnny was, and Bonacci responded that Johnny was 5'2, even though Johnny was a big kid for his age at 5'7. Then, according to LJG, he spoke to a prison guard, who informed him that Bonacci's cell was full of newspapers about the Gosch case, proof that Bonacci was studying details of the case to insert himself into the story.[41] But no corroboration exists for LJG's account to Faded Out and much of it is explicitly contradicted. In Bonacci's diary, he estimated Johnny's height to be 5'5[30], which is very close to accurate. Furthermore, what LJG told Sarah about Bonacci immediately exposing himself as a conman contradicts his own statements from 1991/1992. Most egregiously, in April 1992, he held a press conference at John DeCamp's office endorsing The Franklin Cover-Up (which lauds Bonacci as credible in the Gosch case) and said "Paul told my wife and I things that we've never told anybody".[47] On Inside Edition, LJG called law enforcement's refusal to interview Bonacci "a major cover-up" and pushed back against law enforcement accusations that Bonacci was a pathological liar.[37]
  • Lie about going home immediately upon finding Johnny's wagon: In recounting the morning of September 5, 1982, LJG said on Faded Out that as soon as he found Johnny's wagon abandoned, he knew something was wrong and quickly headed home to have Noreen call the police.[41] This has been a fairly consistent part of LJG's story, also being told by him in America's MIA Children (1992)[48] and Who Took Johnny (2014). Yet a September 6, 1982 news article says that after neighbors called the Gosches at 7:45 AM asking where their Sunday papers were, LJG went out and found the wagon, realized Johnny was missing, but delivered all of Johnny's papers before calling the police at 8:30 AM.[49] The 8:30 AM time is corroborated by the police report[50], and also indicates that LJG's account of coming home immediately upon finding the wagon is false unless the neighbors called after 8 AM, far later than has ever been claimed.
  • Claim that sometimes Johnny went alone on Sunday mornings: LJG stated during his Faded Out interviews that he did not accompany Johnny on his paper route every Sunday morning, just the vast majority of them.[41][42] As detailed above, both Noreen (as far back as 1988, before any conceivable motive to make LJG look bad after the divorce) and LJG himself contradict that, stating that LJG always accompanied Johnny except on the day Johnny was abducted.
  • Disavowing the proofs-of-life for Johnny: When asked about it by Sarah, LJG responded that he never believed any of the occurrences supposedly indicating Johnny was still alive (sightings, dollar bills, etc.) were actually Johnny.[42] Yet in the 1980s, LJG clearly viewed these proofs-of-life as authentic. He was right alongside Noreen at a 1985 press conference where they both announced the "I am alive" dollar bill, including the verification of Johnny's handwriting.[13][14] At the press conference, LJG called the dollar bill "a source of additional hope" that Johnny was alive.[51] And in the 1984 documentary Kidnapped By A Stranger, when asked about evidence that Johnny was still alive, LJG cited phone calls made to Noreen as well as the Oklahoma sighting which he explained in great detail.[52]
  • Origin of the "Emilio" sketch and name: LJG made two strange claims about the kidnapper more commonly known as "Emilio": the widely-distributed sketch came not from the Gosches but from police; and the name "Emilio" originated not from Paul Bonacci but from the Gosches' private investigator Dennis Whelan.[53] An old Des Moines Register article shows that the Gosch family held a press conference in November 1982 where they unveiled two sketches of the kidnapper that they had commissioned, which are the same sketches still in use today. Police insisted that their sketch was similar to Gosches' but the police sketch was not released. LJG was even quoted in the article as criticizing the sketch made by police, claiming that the witnesses considered it "very inaccurate".[54] As for the origin of the name "Emilio", no evidence exists that anyone used the name prior to Bonacci, and LJG did not explain how Bonacci would have come across a name used by their private investigator. If Whelan and Bonacci did use the same name, it was almost certainly independently, which only strengthens Bonacci's credibility. Curiously, Bonacci described "Emilio" as selling children at auctions and Whelan was known to have attended one such child auction while searching for Johnny.
  • Sam Soda rehabilitation: Despite Sam Soda having been a person-of-interest for the Gosches since very early on in the investigation (see above), all that LJG recounted about Sam on Faded Out was that he did some investigative work on the case and had Mafia connections.[41] It cannot be credibly asserted that LJG was unaware of Sam being a prime suspect in the abduction, because he co-authored an opinion piece with Noreen which called "the local man in Des Moines named Sam" a longtime suspect who Paul Bonacci had accurately identified.[55] This attempted rehabilitation of Sam Soda's image is part of a larger issue.

The multitude of inconsistent statements by LJG demonstrates a severe lack of credibility on his part. LJG's motives for repeatedly misrepresenting the facts of the case are unknown. The apparent intention, however, is to rewrite history in a very self-serving manner. All of LJG's inconsistencies revise the facts of the case in a particular direction: erasing details that might portray him in a suspicious light (Johnny having never done the route alone before, him delaying the call to police), attacking claims by Noreen (the proofs-of-life, Sam Soda's guilt), and attacking evidence of the Franklin connection (Paul Bonacci accurately describing Johnny, "Emilio" origin). As for why denying a link to Franklin might be self-serving for LJG, that gets into the darkest allegations that have been leveled against him.

After they both testified at Bonacci's 1999 civil damages hearing, Noreen showed Larry King's photographer Rusty Nelson a photo of LJG to see if he could identify it. The photo itself had no other information attached to it. Nelson responded that he had seen the man before in Larry King's office at the Franklin Credit Union. He also recognized the man as having been at The Max, a gay bar in Omaha that King would frequent to find child prostitutes, and where he originally recruited Nelson.[56] Rusty Nelson's identification of LJG implicated Johnny Gosch's father as a likely participant in the Franklin pedophile network.

Noreen claimed to receive additional confirmation of LJG's involvement in the Franklin milieu from a West Des Moines co-worker of hers. This co-worker was a younger man who had grown up in Omaha. According to Noreen, he kept looking at her while on the job, and when she went to the stockroom he followed her inside, asking to speak with her. Noreen's co-worker recounted how, as a teenager, he used to go to an Omaha club called The Mark. While at The Mark, Larry King attempted to recruit him for child pornography and prostitution, and LJG was also seen there numerous times. The club was allegedly well known as a place where pedophiles could pick up young boys and young girls.[57]

More claims linking LJG to Franklin soon came out directly from Omaha child abuse victims. In 2008, apparent Franklin victim David Shurter released a walking tour of the Old Market area in Omaha. One of the locations he pointed out (a "favorite hangout" in his words) was Stars Restaurant (below Godfather's Pizza), where he had worked as a waiter. Shurter expressed a tentative belief that he had seen LJG eating at Stars.[58] Stars Restaurant was a gay bar in Omaha[59] just as The Max was. In a 2009 chat on the Franklin Files website, Paul Bonacci said that when he first met LJG while in prison he knew he had seen LJG before, most likely at Offutt Air Force Base during the early 1980s.[60] That observation might lend context to Noreen's allegation that LJG took Johnny to Offutt AFB at the beginning of August 1982.

Los Angeles pedophile ring victim Darron Reimer told his own disturbing story that paralleled the Omaha allegations about LJG. In 1974, at the age of 10, Darron ended up getting drawn into a well-connected pedophile group involved in child prostitution and the production of child pornography. He was one of many children forced to act in pornographic films/photo-shoots and sexually service men (who appeared to be quite wealthy). The network's apparent ringleader was Guy Strait, a Hollywood resident who jumped bail after his 1973 arrest for selling child pornography with DOM-Lyric and did not resurface publicly until 1976. Strait admitted to knowing other pedophile ring operators of the 1970s like John Norman. Locations all around Inglewood CA and Santa Monica CA were sites for this abuse, and one location in particular was a nightclub called the Green Horse, allegedly a location where men would go to pick up children for sex. Darron was adamant that Leonard John Gosch was one of the men who he saw at that nightclub. He claimed that upon seeing a photo of LJG for the first time, he had a flashback to his own experience back in 1974 at the Green Horse. Though he first experienced this around 2008 when he began studying Franklin, he still experienced these flashbacks when shown a photo of LJG in 2018. Noreen had allegedly confirmed to Darron that LJG, whose job involved taking business trips across the country, did in fact visit Los Angeles.[61] This mention of LJG being at a nightclub where adult pedophiles sought out kids corroborates the claims about his activities in Omaha. Because Darron's experience was in Los Angeles in 1974, his story implies that LJG was involved in a nationwide pedophile group for a substantial amount of time before Johnny's abduction.

Darron also related what he heard from Jimmy Gibson, a Franklin victim who appeared on America's Most Wanted and was active on websites about the Franklin/Gosch case. After Jimmy came forward to AMW in 1993, he stayed at many residences throughout the Midwest, one of which was LJG's hobby farm northwest of Des Moines. The overall credibility of Jimmy Gibson is its own controversial issue, but key aspects of his story have checked out, including the existence of LJG's hobby farm which Jimmy was the first person to mention. Jimmy painted a highly unfavorable picture of LJG, claiming that LJG was violent and even tried to rape him on one occasion.[61] He also corroborated Noreen's account of LJG sabotaging the county attorney's arrest of Charlie Kerr. According to Jimmy, Kerr held blackmail material on LJG regarding a criminal enterprise they were both involved in. Kerr had gotten wind that he was about to be arrested, and threatened LJG that he would implicate him too if he got busted. So on the planned day of the arrest, LJG got in his car and brought Jimmy along with him to drive to Kerr's home. Jimmy said that LJG initially planned to shoot Kerr out of anger, but he talked LJG out of it. Leonard Gosch instead just ended up tipping off Kerr about the impending arrest.[61][62] Although LJG apparently told Jimmy that the criminal enterprise Kerr was blackmailing him over was illegal gambling, there is a good chance of that being a euphemism for child trafficking. Kerr was clearly implicated as owning a safehouse used to store trafficked kids. Furthermore, LJG was most likely only able to tip Kerr off because Noreen told him of the impending arrest, and she in turn must have heard about it from the county attorney, who would not have informed her unless their investigation was related to the abduction of Johnny, again indicating that Kerr was being investigated for child trafficking.[61] Jimmy's story, then, indicates that Kerr and LJG were both acquainted through a pedophile ring, and Kerr was able to blackmail LJG with evidence of his involvement.

Back in 2004, when he was posting under the name cppweb, Jimmy claimed that (just like Noreen alleged in her book) the Gosch home did receive a phone call in the early morning hours of September 5, 1982, and it came from the Sioux City IA area.[63] Given how Charlie Kerr is the Gosch case's main link to Sioux City and the alleged association between him and LJG, if Jimmy was telling the truth about the phone call, Kerr is very likely to have been the caller. And for Kerr, one of the kidnappers, to be calling LJG just before Johnny's abduction would imply that Kerr was making arrangements with Johnny's father regarding the kidnapping. Noreen has in fact claimed that Bonacci testified in court that the kidnappers had "prior arrangements" with Johnny's father to ensure that Johnny would be alone that morning. This does not show up in the publicly-released court transcripts, but Noreen's delivery has enough authenticity -- even asking her interviewer at one point "Were you surprised when you head that in court?" -- to raise the question of whether the transcripts accurately reflect the entirety of the 1999 hearing.[64] The allegation that Kerr had blackmail material on LJG might also, if Kerr was the one making arrangements with LJG, explain Noreen's account of LJG's very odd behavior in 1982 leading up to Johnny's abduction. He allegedly exhibited tremendous stress and even suicidal tendencies, consistent with the possibility that he was being blackmailed to facilitate the kidnapping of his son. Being a longtime member of a pedophile ring, as numerous victims and witnesses claimed, would easily provide such blackmail material.

It is noteworthy that the array of witnesses implicating LJG -- Rusty Nelson, Noreen Gosch, Paul Bonacci, David Shurter, Jimmy Gibson, Darron Reimer -- have their own rivalries and would not be inclined to conspire together in a hoax implicating Johnny's father. The fact that multiple people otherwise opposed to each other have made overlapping allegations about John Gosch Sr. strengthens those allegations. Obviously, however, they have not been proven definitively.

LJG's 1999 challenge to Noreen's account of Johnny visiting might have been unintentionally revealing. He insisted that if Johnny came back to West Des Moines to visit his parents, Johnny would have visited childhood home, which LJG was still living in at the time; yet LJG did not receive a visit from Johnny.[46] For Johnny to forego visiting his old home but make the effort to track down Noreen at her new address would be bizarre, except for the possibility LJG did not address: Johnny was specifically avoiding his father. If the visit from Johnny was real, then by LJG's own logic, Johnny had some reason not to want to see his father. That is consistent with the allegations that LJG was involved in Franklin, something that Johnny could have easily learned by virtue of being in the same pedophile ring.

Credibility of Jimmy Gibson

[LJG's hobby farm did exist as Jimmy described it, and he is the first person known to have mentioned it publicly][63][62][65]

Jeff Gannon suspicion

Authenticity of photos

Millhouse allegations

[Information shared by Yellow Bag on the Iowa Cold Cases page for Johnny Gosch, beginning on September 5, 2016 (the 34th anniversary of the abduction)][66]

[Faded Out interviews with Yellow Bag as well as a former Des Moines Register circulation manager and YB's purported mother][67][42]

Events that morning

Several major controversies have arisen over the events of the morning that Johnny was abducted:

  • Was Johnny at Ashworth that morning, or did witnesses mistake another paperboy for him?
  • Did a tall man follow Johnny (or whoever the boy was) after he picked up his papers on Ashworth?
  • Were there two separate cars -- a blue car at Ashworth and a silver Ford Fairmont at Marcourt -- or just one blue car?
  • Did the Boesen brothers (Kevin and Mark) see Johnny slumped over his wagon as they passed by him on Marcourt?
  • Is it true that P.J. Smith saw Johnny being forced into the car and was forced by Orval Cooney to suppress his witness account?
  • Was there a van parked several blocks away that a witness saw an object wrapped in a blanket get transferred into from another car?

[Mike Seskis and John Rossi were both at 42nd/Ashworth that morning, and both were adamant that they saw Johnny]

[Chris Birge asserting that Johnny really picked up his papers at Marcourt, not Ashworth]

[This was entirely uncorroborated until the non-credible LJG endorsed Chris's story, despite never having challenged it in the past; even then, LJG admitted that Johnny did normally get his papers on Ashworth; neighbor Lawrence Hedlin heard someone pulling a wagon through his backyard on the morning of the kidnapping, just as (LJG admitted) Johnny usually did; Seskis was a friend and Rossi saw the boy had a wagon and dog with him, which no paperboys besides Johnny did]

[Insinuation, which Chris first suggested and Sarah tried leading Matt Seskis into, that Mike Seskis was fed a false story about the tall man coming out to follow Johnny]

[Numerous press accounts describing two separate cars] [By 1988, Noreen (in popular magazine People, not the mainstream press that some like LJG have claimed Bonacci read while in prison) mentioned only a single blue car at both places][7]

[1985 Senate hearing where the Gosches shared the map of the immediate neighborhood containing summaries of witness accounts][68]

Sketch of Johnny's neighborhood with annotations based on PI accounts of what witnesses saw on the morning of his abduction

[Rather implausibly, Sarah repeatedly dismissed the idea that the same car could have driven around the block to meet Johnny on Marcourt]

[Boesens retracted their account of seeing Johnny slumped on his wagon to Chris] [A March 6, 1983 news article, LJG in 1984, the above neighborhood sketch, and Noreen in 1992 all mentioned two paperboys seeing Johnny slumped over his wagon, before Noreen finally named them in her book as the Boesen brothers; by their own admissions, the Boesens were in the right place at the right time]

[P.J. Smith also denied to Chris his alleged disclosures to Noreen about witnessing the abduction]

[Based on the geographical details that Noreen mentioned, the van was near the intersection 42nd and Woodland][44] [Coincidentally or not, this is where Chris Birge picked up his papers, raising the question of whether he saw something he shouldn't have and got similar treatment to what P.J. Smith allegedly faced]

Screenshot of Chris Birge indicating knowledge of the van's location, which had never been publicized

Sam Soda rehabilitation

[Sam claimed that Noreen asked him to get involved in the investigation][69] [But an early news article from 1984 makes it clear that Sam inserted himself into the case offering to help the Gosch family][12]

[The child pornography he showed at SCARED conferences purportedly came from a Minnesota police officer he knew, which raises the question of why a law enforcement officer would be giving out child pornography, even to a private investigator][69]

[Yet another question is why Ron Wheeler would say to Sam "I should tell you to stop" but instead gave Sam his blessing to continue the SCARED conferences in which he showed child pornography][70] [Note that Ron Wheeler later represented Sam in private practice]

[After claiming that Mary Bock was by his side while he interviewed Frank Sykora, and talking up how sweet and wonderful she was, he said that "her brain is probably scrambled and she's not worth a damn now"][70] [When Sarah interviewed Mary Bock, she in fact contradicted Sam's account, saying that she may have been in the other room (i.e. not by his side) but believed she was actually not with Sam at all][53]

[Sam disputed that Johnny was targeted in advance, saying that the kidnapping was a crime of opportunity][70] [This contradicts what both Noreen and LJG have said about Johnny being photographed a couple weeks prior to the abduction, and is quite revealing given that Paul Bonacci implicated Sam as the one who brought the photo of Johnny to the motel on the night before the abduction]

[Confirmation by Sam of him working for Ruan Trucking, which Jim Rothstein had already brought up in connection with the Jacob Wetterling abduction][70]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 America's Most Wanted case summary for the Johnny Gosch abduction
  2. John Zielinski, America's MIA Children, 1992 @ 0:09:28
  3. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.2:
        Early on September 5, 1982, our phone rang, I looked at the clock and it was one thirty a.m. My husband took the call saying," Yes, alright, yes, alright, okay" and then hung up. I asked him who it was and he replied, " It was a wrong number." I remember thinking it was very odd; we had been receiving calls like this every Sunday morning at the same time... for the past four weeks. Never before had my husband spoken to anyone until this call but he always said they were just "hang up calls."

    Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.75:
        Following this business trip, we began to receive hang up phone calls every night, usually about one a.m. or two a.m. John always answered the phone; it was located on his nightstand.

    Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.77:
        We received a phone call at 1:30 a.m., every Sunday morning from the beginning of August, until September 5th, the morning, Johnny was kidnapped. My husband, John would pick up the phone and say "You've got the wrong number", and hang up. On the morning of the kidnapping, Sept. 5, 1982, at 1:35 am, the phone rang, he answered, I woke up to hear him saying "alright...alright...okay," then he hung up. I questioned him about the call and he just kept insisting it was a wrong number. He seemed nervous at the time but it was late and I drifted back to sleep, not realizing the worst was about to happen.
  4. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.1
  5. Des Moines Register, "Gosches: Police not cooperating with us", 1982/11/09 (pages 9 OCR)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.2:
        [...]

    Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.76:
        [...]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 People, "An Anguished Mother Refuses to Give Up Hope for the Son Who Vanished Six Years Ago", 1988/10/10
  8. 8.0 8.1 Montreal Gazette, "Mom's torment: After 16 months, new hope kidnap son is alive", 1984/01/30 - sighting of Johnny in 1983 by woman in Oklahoma, which was confirmed by the Investigative Research Agency (a Chicago PI company) and the FBI
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Paul Bonacci civil trial damages hearing (Noreen Gosch, Rusty Nelson, Bonacci, and his wife testify) (original document)
  10. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.27
  11. 98th Congress 2d Session, "Effect of Pornography on Women and Children. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary", 1984/08/08 (PDF here)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Des Moines Register, "D.C. man is subpoenaed in Gosch case", 1984/09/08 (pages 3)
  13. 13.0 13.1 UPI, "John and Noreen Gosch displayed the message written on...", 1985/07/10 - family says that 3 handwriting experts confirmed the 1985 "I am still alive" dollar bill message was written by Johnny Gosch
  14. 14.0 14.1 Chicago Tribune (from Associated Press), "'I am alive' note stirs hope in boy's kidnapping", 1985
  15. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.39: "This poster was sent anonyously to me and a number of others in Des Moines ... Shortly after Eugene Martin was kidnapped...1984"
  16. Des Moines Register, "Soda claim to war medals false, Marines say", 1985/10/10 (pages 1m PDF 1m OCR)
  17. Associated Press, "Mother of Missing Paperboy Says She Knows Who Abductors Are; Police Silent", 1986/09/16
  18. Green Bay Press-Gazette, "Heartbreak of boy's kidnapping remains", 1990/09/09
  19. Des Moines Register, "Lawyer sure inmate's story of Gosch is true", 1991/07/24: pages 3
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Decade later, Gosches think case solved", 1992/03/20: pages 1, 8
  21. John DeCamp, The Franklin Cover-Up, p.230:
        I had noted that one of the events Paul described reminded me of the case of Johnny Gosch, which I had read about years earlier. I went to the library, and confirmed the similarity of the details of the case, with what Paul said. I then contacted the Gosch family. They advised me that they had had their fill of false leads from people who claimed to know something about their missing boy, and people who claimed to have information for sale but did not seem genuinely interested. But a couple of weeks later, Mr. Gosch did come to Omaha.

    John DeCamp, The Franklin Cover-Up, p.231:
        John Gosch, Sr. walked into the prison in Lincoln, Nebraska to meet Paul Bonacci for the first time, unannounced. Sitting down across from him, Gosch asked Bonacci, "Do you know who I am?" Bonacci replied, "You look like-it can't be-the eyes, you look like Johnny Gosch."
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Des Moines Register, "Gosch 'informant' was figure in Omaha scandal", 1991/07/21: pages 12, 14
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 John DeCamp, The Franklin Cover-Up, p.231-234
  24. 24.0 24.1 Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.127:
        [...]
  25. "Vanished with Beth Holloway" 2011/06/27 episode on Johnny Gosch: part 1 @ 11:26
  26. Des Moines Register, "Gosch: Ring of pedophiles took Johnny", 1991/07/18 (pages 1, 18)
  27. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.130: "The man who brought the photo was identified as Sam Soda. Paul had earlier chosen Sam's picture in a photo line up of twenty-five pictures."
  28. Des Moines Register, "Omaha investigator to take on Gosch case", 1991/06/28
  29. 29.0 29.1 Des Moines Register, "Inmate relates story of youth's abduction", 1991/10/29: pages 15
  30. 30.0 30.1 1990/10/13 Caracorp investigative report on Bonacci's diary (excerpted on Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.107):

    October 13,1990
    Report by Robert Hansel to Franklin Credit Union/Investigation
    This investigator took over following the mysterious death of Gary Caradori, July 11, 1990.
        "At approximately 2:00 PM, this writer proceeded to Donna Owens, residence, at which time, we discussed information regarding Paul Bonacci's diary. It is a synopsis of incidents that occurred to him. One incident took place in September of 1982, an account of a man named Amelio, who took Paul to a farmhouse in Iowa and he saw two boys that were locked in a room with no windows and only one door which was bolted shut. One of the boys was approximately nine years old, 4 feet tall, 80 pounds, blonde hair, and one blue eye and one brown eye. He also had a scar on his left leg approximately nine inches long. He also had a mole on his chest. He cried for his mother a lot and according to Paul his name was Mark.

        The other boy was approximately 5'5" in height, 130 pounds, blue eyes, and brown hair. The boy was wearing black jogging pants and had a dirty shirt on that had the name of Kim's Academy on it. At that time, Mr. Bonacci asked if this was Kim's Karate, which he never did get an answer. The boy was approximately 13 years of age and he found out later that his name was Johnny and he couldn't recall his last name. The boy was from Des Moines, Iowa. The other boy was from some town in Minnesota possibly."
  31. Charley Project page on Johnny Gosch - verifies his clothing
  32. Interview with Robert Hansel on 2018/06/30
  33. 33.0 33.1 1991 WHO-TV broadcast about Paul Bonacci (excerpted in Rumur, Who Took Johnny, 2014 @ ?:??:??)
  34. Ted Gunderson interview of Noreen Gosch around 2000 @ 0:11:58
  35. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.131: "There had actually been 3 vehicles in the area. [...] and a green station wagon on the street north of the kidnap site. Sitting at a vantage point and being able to see the entire kidnapping. The green station wagon had the type of rear door which opened from the top and the side hinge. It was a Ford product, only available for certain years. After learning the description of the car, I telephoned the Motor Vehicles Dept. asking for a list of vehicles owned by "Sam", the man identified by Paul Bonacci. Bingo.... Motor Vehicles had the entire list of vehicles owned by "Sam" and one of them was a Ford station wagon, green with the type of rear door which opened from the side or top."
  36. 36.0 36.1 1992/10/20 Faith Daniels episode with Noreen Gosch, Roy Stephens, and Paul Bonacci
  37. 37.0 37.1 1992 Inside Edition broadcast about Paul Bonacci
  38. Rumur, Who Took Johnny, 2014 @ 0:11:10
  39. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.79-81
  40. Noreen Gosch, Why Johnny Can't Come Home, p.88
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 Faded Out, "Ep 21 - Extended Episode: John Gosch Sr.", 2018/08/12
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 Faded Out, "Ep 24 - Who Was Wilbur Millhouse?", 2018/09/09
    @ 21:30 - disavowal of the proofs of life
    @ 25:41 - specifies that he was talking about Johnny being alone on Sunday mornings, not afternoons
  43. Green Bay Press-Gazette, "Heartbreak of boy's kidnapping remains", 1990/09/09: "Noreen Gosch said the investigation, which has wound down, remains active. She said that rarely does a week go by that the West Des Moines Police Department doesn't get some call about the case. The Gosches continue to make occasional public appearances on behalf of missing children, and they are sought by parents asking help in coping with the disappearance of a child. They are expected to be in New York soon for the taping of a Geraldo show to discuss the case. "We haven't changed our feelings about what happened. We believe that the kidnapping was organized and that Johnny was taken out of the area. It certainly sounded like it was well organized," Noreen Gosch said. She said she and her husband plan no memorials. "We're both going to work. We're not letting the sadness get the best of us. As you get closer to the day, the little memories of what he said and what he did still come to mind and they tear you up," she said."

    Des Moines Register, "Skeleton found; link eyed to missing boys", 1990/11/13: "Every morning for eight years, Noreen Gosch has gotten out of bed thinking this could be the day. Somebody, somewhere is going to find something that unravels the mystery of what happened to her son, Johnny, who was 12 when he was kidnapped Sept. 5, 1982, while delivering newspapers near home. [...] Monday, the jolts hit the parents again, this time under unusual circumstances. West Des Moines police called Gosch. They said bones were found near Runnells in the southeast corner of the county. It could be Johnny. Or it could be Eugene. Or it could be neither, they said. The discovery bad come, of all days, on Johnny's 21st birthday. "The fact that it's his birthday blows my mind, but we've had to live our lives like that every day," said Gosch, who keeps a plan to leave town at a moment's notice if there is a lead in the case."
  44. 44.0 44.1 FAWcast interview of Noreen Gosch in 2016/09
  45. Sioux City Police Department, investigative report for case 90-36423, 1990 (archive)
  46. 46.0 46.1 Des Moines Register, "Johnny Gosch's dad questions that his ex-wife saw their son in 1997", 1999/02/08
  47. Omaha World-Herald, "Iowan Believes DeCamp Book", 1992/04/17
  48. John Zielinski, America's MIA Children, 1992 @ 0:14:36: "One of our neighbors called and wanted to know where their Sunday paper was. Because Johnny always delivered the papers on time. And, so I got in my car and went up to the corner, found the wagon with the papers in it, and the paper bag and all these type of things. And I came back home and told Noreen, I said call the police, there's something wrong. I can't find Johnny, but his wagon's up there. And what even made me do that instead of going around and looking all around...but I just felt something was real... Because the dog was back and that was what really surprised me. Our miniature dachshund, she had come back home."
  49. Des Moines Register, "Police hunt for missing W.D.M. boy", 1982/09/06 (pages 1, 3)
  50. West Des Moines Police Department, missing person report from case 82-2976, 1982/09/05 (archive)
  51. Des Moines Register, "Gosches say they've found note from son", 1985/07/11
  52. Gene Bell, Kidnapped By A Stranger, 1984 @ 08:50
  53. 53.0 53.1 Faded Out, "Season One Addendum", 2018/10/28
    @ 10:25 - Mary Bock talks about working with Sam on the Frank Sykora case
    @ 27:00 - claims about "Emilio"
  54. Des Moines Register, "Gosch talk with 'weird' man told", 1982/11/25 (pages 1m, 1m image, 6m, 6m image)
  55. Des Moines Register, "Why do police ignore Gosch suspect?" by John and Noreen Gosch, 1991/10/18 (pages 12 OCR)
  56. Ted Gunderson interview of Noreen Gosch around 2000 @ 1:01:16
  57. Alex Merklinger interview of Noreen Gosch on 2004/06/17 @ 1:52:39
  58. David Shurter, "Walking Tour of Downtown Omaha Nebraska - Part 1", 2008/07/03 @ 3:32
  59. Queer Omaha Archives, "Gold Crown Chandelier": "The Gold Crown Chandelier hung proudly in a piano bar that was part of the Stars Restaurant/bar. Located in Omaha, Nebraska's Old Market. The business had been previously known as the Alley Bar. Its named was fitting as its entrance was from the alley way rather than the street entrance. You see at this time, many did not wish to be seen entering what was known to be a “gay” bar. As time went on, November 1984, (The New Voice of Nebraska Vol. 1 Issue 9: http://queeromahaarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1561) a decision was made to remove some of the mystery and stigma from the bar, the Alley was renamed Stars and reopened as a restaurant/bar."
  60. Franklin Files chat with Paul Bonacci on 2009/08/26
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 61.3 Interviews and correspondence with Darron Reimer in 2018
  62. 62.0 62.1 Franklin Files, "CORRECTIONS", 2008/09/05 (archive)
  63. 63.0 63.1 cppweb posts on WebSleuths (pages 3, 4, 7, 8)
  64. Ted Gunderson interview of Noreen Gosch around 2000 @ 1:00:22
  65. Dallas County assessor documents on the hobby farm (archive)
  66. Iowa Cold Cases page on Johnny Gosch
  67. Faded Out, "Ep 23 - Talking With Yellow Bag", 2018/09/02
  68. 1985/05/29 testimony to Senate committee led by Chuck Grassley about the disappearance of Johnny Gosch
  69. 69.0 69.1 Faded Out, "Ep 28 - Sam Soda's House", 2018/09/23
  70. 70.0 70.1 70.2 70.3 Faded Out, "Ep 29 - Sam Soda Uninterrupted", 2018/09/23

External links

  • America's Most Wanted information
  • EIR, "The story ‘20/20’ would not tell!" by Noreen Gosch, 2000/02/04
  • Why Johnny Can't Come Home by Noreen Gosch (2000)
  • Iowa Cold Cases pages
    • Johnny Gosch - valuable information on Wilbur Millhouse
    • Eugene Wade Martin - lots of background about Roger Dean Matice posted by Andrea, and she mentions showing the photo to John Rossi but withholds the details of how Rossi felt about the photo
    • Marc James Warren Allen - the police waited 48 hours to investigate Allen's disappearance, despite the Johnny Gosch Law that Noreen helped pass
  • Documentaries
    • "Kidnapped By A Stranger" by Gene Bell (1984) - at 4:05 LJG says that the day of Johnny's kidnapping was one of only five Sunday mornings that he didn't accompany Johnny, and upon saying that, Noreen jerks her head in potential disbelief; he goes on to mention that the last witness sighting of Johnny was two paperboys who reported seeing Johnny slumped over his wagon; at 8:50 LJG is asked about evidence that Johnny is still alive, and he mentions calls received by Noreen as well as the woman who saw Johnny in Tulsa, Oklahoma in March 1983 (which LJG told Sarah DiMeo he never believed); says that the Oklahoma sighting and many other Southwest sightings had Johnny in the company of a man who resembled the composite drawing of the man in the blue car
    • "America's MIA Children" by John Zielinski (aired 1996/05/11 on public access TV) - interview of Noreen and John together, as well as a rare interview with Judianne Densen-Gerber; at 09:30 has John Gosch Sr. mention how in August 1982, a woman with California plates was shooting pictures of several things in the neighborhood including Johnny on his paper route; then says that witnesses saw a brown manila envelope inside the Ford Fairmont; Noreen claims that the police use the Gosch family's composite sketch of Emilio, not their own drawing; at 13:10 Noreen mentions an obscure witness account by two boys that Johnny was seen slumped over his wagon; she says the police refused to treat it as a kidnapping despite all those witness accounts having been collected by her before police even arrived; around 17:20 Noreen describes being called to testify at a congressional organized crime hearing shortly before Eugene Martin was kidnapped in 1984; she asserts that many kids who get photographed in public are later the victims of abduction attempts; Gunderson refers to "internment camps" for kidnapped children in Des Moines IA, West Virginia, Nevada (near Arizona), California, and Washington; at 20:30 Noreen shows a NAMBLA bulletin telling their followers not to cooperate with the FBI on the Johnny Gosch case; Zielinski reads a pro-NAMBLA letter that was sent to Densen-Gerber; asserts at 22:20 that by 1989, NAMBLA had deposited $5 million in the Franklin Credit Union; at 23:25, Noreen starts talking about receiving threats in the period of 1987 and 1988; Noreen and John allege they were being spied on when they left town to stay at a hotel; mention intimidating calls and vandalism of their own home, plus harassment received by other family members; description of the incident in August (of 1986?) where Noreen was lured to an alleged contract hit in Oklahoma, just after a "well-known man in Des Moines who has walked both lines of the law" warned her of a hit being taken out; around 32:00, a WHO-TV clip about John Zielinski appearing on an Iowa radio program (Michaelson in the Morning) in 1991 to discuss new leads in the Johnny Gosch case relating to the Franklin scandal quotes the Gosches as saying that they've secretly been investigating those same leads; naming a slightly different motel than what she said on a radio program, Densen-Gerber quotes Bonacci as saying that he saw her in 1982 at the Holiday Inn where NAMBLA members were
    • John Zielinski documentary on the Gosch case: parts 1, 2 - contains the 1992 broadcast on Inside Edition about Paul Bonacci and the letters
    • MSNBC, "Missing Johnny" by Rumur, 2012
    • Rumur, Who Took Johnny, 2014
  • Television clips
  • Noreen Gosch interview by Ted Gunderson - she mentions how the private investigators canvassed the area around the Gosch home talking to witnesses; describes them interviewing one man who noticed a van parked against the flow of traffic with a loud motor running, looked through the window to observe, and saw a car pull up just before a large object was transferred from it to the van; Noreen says at 19:55 that 2 weeks before the abduction, a neighbor saw a man in a car with out-of-state plates taking photos of Johnny with a long telephoto lens as he walked home from school; Noreen says that after learning about Franklin, she recalled how about 3 weeks after Johnny was kidnapped, the Des Moines Register ran an article on two young girls aged 13 and 14 who were taken from Des Moines to Omaha for prostitution, and the police chief ignored it and she got a death threat for calling attention to it in a press conference; at 24:55 Noreen says she later found out that WDM police chief Orval Cooney was good friends with Robert Wadman and attended the Franklin pedophile parties with him; she says that the impostor "made my husband look very suspect", but points out that there are no definitive answers; at 43:27 Noreen shows her book with the photo of the Noreen impersonator; Noreen says she was informed that the impersonator had a stroke upon learning that her photo was in the book; around 46:30 Noreen describes the farmhouse outside of Sioux City IA where Johnny was taken, and calls it the "Charlie Kerr farm", with an old house that had since burned down; Noreen credits Paul Bonacci with witnessing "the Colonel" paying the kidnappers in cash for Johnny; she says he identified Michael Aquino as "the Colonel", and heard that Johnny was going to Colorado and the West Coast with him, but never saw him again until 1986 at an orgy at Aquino's home in Colorado; Noreen says Johnny stayed on many Indian reservations and eventually left the last one to live elsewhere in the country; mentions the child victims turning into perpetrators once they reached adulthood; at 01:00:00 Noreen says, on the topic of how the kidnappers knew Johnny would be alone that morning, that "I heard something in court I had never heard before anywhere" from Paul Bonacci, that there were "prior arrangements" with Johnny's father; she asks Gunderson "were you surprised when you heard that in court?"; has Rusty Nelson at 1:01:18 confirm the identification of John Gosch Sr. as being in the Franklin Credit Union at Larry King's office, saying that it was in John DeCamp's office and it was her husband George who pulled out the picture; Noreen says that her ex-husband was also at The Max; at 1:15:50 Noreen asks "so what was Sam Soda in this whole concoction?"; she says that according to Paul Bonacci, they called him "Soda Pop"; recounts that he brought photos of Johnny to the motel the night before and said he was the kid they would be taking the next morning; she also says Bonacci placed him at the farm in Sioux City IA while the kidnappers were photographing the molestation of Johnny; at 1:17:05 Noreen says that in her discussions with Bonacci and other victims, she learned that Eugene Martin was taken by the same ring, and another victim said Jacob Wetterling was as well; Noreen claims the police rejected her information about the warning from Soda because he denied ever saying it; at 1:18:40 Noreen discusses Barry's Lounge, saying that in a room upstairs, they showed adult films including child pornography, and after it burned down, a waitress told her that Soda would bring in big brown bags wrapped with duct tape upstairs on the nights when child porn was shown; she says the waitress also told her that many Des Moines police officers came to watch the films; Noreen claims that her son told her about Satanic rituals, whose purpose was both to exhilarate the adults and traumatize the children, and used the term "breeder mothers"; she refers to the children being used to entrap and blackmail politicians; at 1:26:05 Noreen is asked if she knows why Conspiracy of Silence never aired, and responds that she was told that the Discovery Channel got purchased by the Bush family around that time; at 1:31:50 her new husband George brings up ABC devoting a lot of time and money only to drop the story; she says that in 1997, Karen Burnes of ABC approached her to do a one-hour special called "The Johnny Gosch Story: The Final Curtain"; according to her, they spent 2 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars filming interviews with victims and other witnesses, but then they kept repeatedly postponing the airing until she was eventually told it wouldn't air at all; Noreen claims that from talking to another ABC producer, she learned that 20/20 spread the word throughout the whole building that they alone owned the Johnny Gosch story, and were waiting for him to come forward so they could interview him; at 1:33:55 Noreen refers to how Disney has bought ABC (or maybe just 20/20 as Gunderson corrects her) and calls them a big player in the Franklin type situation: she sasy many kids were traumatized at Disney World; at 1:35:45 Noreen tells the story of how her first private investigator Dennis Whelan attended a child auction near Houston TX shortly after Johnny's kidnapping, which she and John financed with a second mortgage on their home, and says there were foreign buyers there; Noreen says she heard about child auctions in Toronto and Las Vegas from Bonacci, and Rusty Nelson says off-camera that Larry King took him to such an auction north of Las Vegas near Area 51 around Indian Springs NV (ed. note: happens to be near Creech Air Force Base); Gunderson mentions another tip about child auctions in Lincoln NE at "the barn", and when DeCamp sent out a call to check on the barn, a deputy sheriff involved in Satanism prevented the auction from happening; they also refer to some child auctions in Pennsylvania and rest areas near Lincoln, the latter of which Gary Caradori found out; Nelson says that the buyers at the auction included one Jewish man, a couple Middle Easterners, and some American businessman; Noreen says Linda Blood kept calling and asking if she was sick
  • Alternative media interviews with Noreen Gosch
    • Freedom Law School speech in 2000 - Noreen says that for some reason they don't know today, Johnny decided to go out on his route alone that morning; refers to an invitation in 1983 to testify before the Justice Department about what went wrong in the investigation of her son's kidnapping, alongside other parents like John Walsh; recounts meeting serial killers in prison who got joy out of murdering children and pedophiles in prison who were lying to the parole board and intended to molest other children once they got out; says that media appearances throughout the years resulted in many good leads; Noreen claims that about 80 children in total from the Franklin scandal came forward; as Noreen recounts, when DeCamp called the Gosch home, she wasn't home so her then-husband took the call, and he went to Nebraska without her to meet DeCamp and go to the prison; she says that in 1994 when Conspiracy of Silence was pulled, DeCamp received a bootleg copy smuggled out of Yorkshire Television and gave a copy to Noreen, telling her to distribute it; she mentions the "Final Curtain" 20/20 special that ABC wanted to do on the Gosch case, which involved filming for about 2 years; describes a question asked of Bonacci by the producer about how the kids were used when they got older, and Bonacci's reply that some were turned into perpetrators, some were murdered, and some escaped to live as fugitives; she says that Bonacci specifically mentioned "Monarch" mind control being used on the children; continues by saying that 20/20 dug out government records confirming the information Bonacci gave; Noreen says that in Bonacci's 1999 trial, he was asked by the judge to give an accounting of his own abuse and the kidnapping of Johnny Gosch; claims that Bonacci informed the judge about the kids being taken for mind control; claims the judge asked why a middle class suburban kid like Johnny was kidnapped, and Bonacci said less street-smart kids were desired by the mind controllers due to a suspicion that they'd be easier to control
    • Tracy Twyman interview on 2001/09/03 - discusses whether Michael Aquino was nicknamed "Mikey" or "Mickey"; mentions Michael LaVey and the credibility problems with it; Noreen says "Paul Bonacci testified [...] in a courtroom February 7th of 1999" after "the Judge asked him that question" that "Johnny was chosen because he fit the description of what they were looking for in the pornography and prostitution industry" such as "blond, blue-eyed, and tall", "from the type of homes where they would be, basically, in a normal situation", and "a little more naive"; she says Orval Cooney was good friends with Robert Wadman as well as a pedophile who was attending the child sex parties in Omaha; Noreen claims to have received confirmation from former airmen at Offutt AFB that Bonacci's account of mind control programming occurring at the base was true; claims that she took the 1999 court transcripts to the county attorney and was told "we just aren’t going to accept the judge’s ruling"; Noreen says that the information on Aquino first came from Bonacci, who said that "the Colonel" came to the Sioux City IA farm about 14 days after the kidnapping and bought Johnny; in addition to the ranch in Colorado, Noreen refers to other "safe houses" in New Mexico and Arizona; in response to a question about Michael LaVey, Noreen unhesitatingly says that he agreed to be filmed by 20/20, and says he divulged being at Satanic ceremonies with Johnny on multiple occasions; she also refers to LaVey's daughter living in Des Moines at one point; says that 20/20 has a one-hour special called "The Johnny Gosch Show" that they won't run until Johnny is located; refers to speaking with Jimmy's father, who was "a CPA, a very well-respected man" that harbored Johnny in his home but didn't know it until he saw America's Most Wanted; after Tracy asks "And wasn’t one of the people involved in the kidnapping posing as a policeman before it happened, and talking to your son?", Noreen replies "Yes, at a football game", that "It was a West Des Moines policeman" who "paid particular attention to Johnny", and that "this particular officer would not consent to being interviewed by our detective"
    • American Free Press interview on 2003/08/19
    • Alex Merklinger interview on 2004/06/17 - mention at 37:45 of a northern Iowa boy (ed. note: Shawn Lee Jacobsen / Shawn Jacobsen of Milford IA) found dead in a barn refrigerator in September 1982, which was labeled a suicide by the DCI despite his young age and bloody claw marks on the inside; at 1:06:55 has Noreen describe the Oklahoma contract hit in more detail, revealing that the man she was to meet with at a coffee shop would drive them both out to a remote area where "evidence" was located; says that the man received 10 years in federal prison; at 1:13:30 she says that Bonacci could sketch the perpetrators, who they then identified in mugbooks (ed. note: Charlie Kerr); at 1:13:53 she reiterates that the person taking photos of Johnny prior to the abduction had California plates; Noreen says at 1:28:04 that when the judge asked Bonacci how they knew Johnny would be alone on the morning of his abduction, Bonacci testified that prior arrangements were made with Johnny's father; places the date of Johnny's escape in 1988; at 1:38:28 mentions Jim Rothstein, as part of his job looking into sex trafficking cases across the country, asking a WDM police representative what they did to investigate the Gosch case, to which they responded that they did very little (besides make a phony composite drawing) because they were ordered to stand down; Noreen discusses how after Rusty Nelson testified in 1999, she showed him a photo of her ex-husband, and without her providing any information, he identified the man as having been in Larry King's office at the Franklin Credit Union; she says that another young man that was a co-worker of hers, who had come from Omaha, had been to an Omaha club called The Mark in his late teens, and not only was it where Larry King tried to recruit him into pornography and prostitution, but he sought out Noreen because John Gosch Sr. had been at The Mark; Noreen describes receiving an email in 2003 stating that Troy Boner had died, and asking for more details, learned that he'd been admitted to medical facility in Abilene TX, then was found one day with blood coming from his mouth, with a toxicology report ruling his death an overdose; she suggests that he was murdered because just before Boner's death, there had been a reporter for a national magazine staying in Nebraska and interviewing everyone associated with the Franklin scandal who was still alive (evidently Nick Bryant)
    • "Why Johnny Can't Come Home" video - includes Alex Merklinger interview on 2004/06/17 and Freedom Law School speech in 2000
    • Jeff Rense interview on 2005/04/07 (parts 1, 2, ...3...)
    • Michael Corbin interview on 2005/07/18 - Noreen claims that she was recently in contact with Paul Bishop; discloses that a month ago, the witness who from his bedroom window heard a car door slam and saw the Ford Fairmont speed away (P.J. Smith) revealed that he actually witnessed a man (most likely "Tony") shoot Johnny with a stun gun, then lift him into the car with the help of someone (most likely Paul Bonacci) who was already in the backseat; references information she recently received, and revealed on the Marty Stacy show, that the WDM police chief attended child sex parties in Omaha with Robert Wadman, and that shortly after publicizing it, the source of the information died; Noreen starts to elaborate that the WDM police chief told the witness (P.J. Smith) not to reveal what he had seen to anybody
    • Blogtalkradio interview on 2008/05/22: parts 1, 2, 3, 4 - in part 1, around 2:55 Noreen says that witnesses noticed the man in the blue car had a brown manila envelope on the seat; she recounts how the man in the blue car got flicked the dome lights before pulling away, just before another man (who was described as quite tall, over 6 feet) come out of the trees between two houses; describes how a witness who was in his bedroom (P.J. Smith) heard a car pull up really quickly, looked out the window, and saw Johnny being shot with a stun gun before the tall man and someone who jumped out of the backseat loaded him into the car, and it sped away through the stop sign; goes on to say that the vehicle pulled into a side street someways away from the Gosch home and transferred something long wrapped in a blanket (Johnny's body) from it to a van parked there, as recounted to private investigators by a man who got up early, heard a car running, and looked out the window; Noreen says that when neighbors called about not getting their papers, waking up, John went out to search and came home within minutes after finding Johnny's wagon; she claims police took her sheet of written statements from witnesses who she'd contacted before the police even arrived; in part 2, Noreen insists that Johnny stayed listed as a runaway for multiple months; she recalls the article published a couple weeks later about 2 girls from Des Moines taken to Omaha; around 4:10 Noreen mentions the lesser-known 1986 kidnapping of Marc Allen, which she was first notified about by the NCMEC because it did not receive publicity; around 5:45 Noreen says she took the ruling of Judge Warren Urbom in Bonacci's 1999 trial to the county attorney and West Des Moines Police, who refused to accept it; she mentions how 25 years later on the morning of August 27 (a Sunday), her birthday, a package was delivered with photos of Johnny bound, gagged, and looking drugged; claims that a lab at the NCMEC confirmed the photos were taken in the 1980s, and were of Johnny a couple months following his kidnapping; says she took the photos to the police, but somebody else who received them took them to the media; in part 3, Noreen describes how when the story broke, she began getting offers of help through the Internet from all over the world (e.g. Australia, France, Greece), which helped her meet an Internet detective; she describes getting more photographs (around 250) from a CD sent to her through the US mail without a stamp, some of Johnny and some of other kids, and how the police never called her back about it; says she called a programmer friend to examine the CD, who found the photos were being posted on a Russian website, got the passwords to different areas on the site, and gave her enough information to provide to the NCMEC, who had been trying to break into that website for a long time; reports that the Russian website has 8 million photos of children from all over the world; according to Noreen, the photos of Johnny didn't appear on the Russian pedophile website until they were sent to her, indicating someone had them in their private collection for a while; on 2007/09/05 (the 25th anniversary of Johnny's kidnapping) the Des Moines Register purportedly printed a statement from police admitting they never investigated the origin of the photographs; at 8:54 Noreen says she continues to receive photographs of Johnny, some with more detailed clues like the name of a place (ed. note: Camp Caribou is an example)
    • Rollye James Show interview on 2009/05/07: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - in part 1, Noreen says that her private investigators located a man in the area who saw Johnny's body, which was wrapped in the blanket, being transferred into a van shortly after his abduction; in part 2, Noreen discusses how the WDM police chief initially (by coercing of threatening his family) suppressed P.J. Smith's account of seeing Johnny getting thrown into the car, giving them plausible deniability to classify Johnny as a runaway in the NCIC system; in part 3, Noreen reiterates her longtime allegation that a Des Moines man (Sam Soda) told her in 1984 that there would be a second paperboy kidnapping shortly before Eugene Martin was abducted, and that she took a tape recording of that conversation to the police and the media to no avail; in part 4, Noreen claims that shortly after Johnny visited her in 1997 and gave her the names of people involved in the child trafficking ring, she went to the county attorney with her private investigator to relay the information, and he protested that the names were of prominent people before refusing to investigate; also mentions the photographs of children she received from 2006 onward, and how she worked with the NCMEC to get the photos analyzed by the national FBI; in part 5, Noreen says she received information that Johnny was kept alive because the publicity surrounding his case somehow made him more valuable; she mentions a boy murdered in Arizona who washed up on the coast of Mexico with identification saying "Johnny Gosch", even though he wasn't Johnny; in part 5, Noreen says the main reason she divorced John Gosch Sr. was that he couldn't cope with the loss and started drinking, becoming physically abusive towards her; she says that even her ex-husband's own family didn't know where he went after leaving Des Moines; Noreen also claims that he was less willing to stand up to the police, and for instance, didn't want to hire private investigators; also in part 5, Noreen asserts that a new WDM police chief who came a couple years ago told everyone that they were not allowed to help Noreen, something that was revealed to her by an off-duty officer; Noreen says that Jim Rothstein told her about a conversation he had with a high-ranking WDM police official, who said they didn't do much on the Gosch case and only made a composite drawing to convince the public they were doing something, and also said that the police chief received a "stand down" order on the morning of the kidnapping; in part 6, Noreen claims that the WDM detectives initially believed immediately upon seeing them that the photos she brought in 2006 were of Johnny, but then a couple days later told her they would announce publicly that the photos weren't of Johnny; she points out that Nelson Zalva could never back up his claim that the photos were from an old case of his, and says that the NCMEC and John Walsh verified them as being of her son; says that before the abduction, as Johnny was walking home from school, a neighbor saw a man (not a woman?) in a car repeatedly taking photos of him
    • Greg Szymanski interview on 2009/06/24: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - has Noreen say in part 1 that P.J. Smith saw the tall man who had followed Johnny ("Tony") shoot him with a stun gun, then load Johnny into the Ford Fairmont with the help of someone in the backseat; also has Noreen say that the Ford Fairmont drove several blocks away to where a van was parked, after which Johnny's body was transfered; mentions in part 3 how shortly after the Gosch abduction (about the second week of September), two girls (aged 13 and 14) forced into prostitution were found in Omaha NE, having been abducted by men matching the description of Johnny's abductors, but the WDM police chief, Iowa DCI, and FBI refused to investigate, Noreen called a press conference, and she received a threat to "Stop making waves or you will die"; has Jim Rothstein say in part 3 that a WDM police investigator told him that a baseless composite sketch of the suspect (later replaced by Noreen's more accurate version) was released only to satisfy the public, and that the then(2009)-lead investigator on the case told him nothing would be done; has Rothstein say in part 4 that a federal investigation from 1982 to 1989 looked into nationwide child trafficking, and that afterwards he spoke to one of the agents who told him that 834 children were taken during that period without anything being done
    • Greg Szymanski interview on 2009/07/08: parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - in part 1, Jim Rothstein said that his conversation with the Gosch case's lead detective took place about two years before 2009; Rothstein discusses the involvement of the trucking industry in the Gosch case, drawing a parallel to the Jacob Wetterling case and how a different boy was initially taken; he also mentions how prior to Eugene Martin's disappearance, Noreen received advance warning that another paperboy would be kidnapped but was not taken seriously; in part 2, Noreen says (as is mentioned in her book) that Des Moines Register editor James Gannon told his staff to slant stories about Johnny's parents, something that was revealed to her by a Register employee; Rothstein says that the New York governor put him and his partner Maddie Rosenthal on the New York state select committee on crime to look into the effects of human trafficking on society; claims that Vernon Seitz participated in a child sacrifice at a young age, and that he was starting to talk about his knowledge of the Jeffrey Dahmer and "Son of Sam" cases; in part 3, the interviewer links Rothstein's investigation of pedophile rings to the death of Pope John Paul I; Rothstein names certain places as central to the pedophile operations: New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Cleveland OH and Columbus OH, New Orleans, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Joseph MN, Des Moines, Omaha, Denver and its surrounding communities, Kanab UT (an occult center), northern California, Los Angeles, and Texas; he also names some smaller areas with their own pedophilia subcultures, like Island Falls ME; links the smiley face killers to the pedophile rings; in part 4, Noreen says she received the first 3 photos on the morning of Sunday, August 27, 2006: a picture of Johnny bound and gagged, a photo of three boys on a bed bound and gagged, and a black-and-white photo of a man who appeared to be dead; says that four or five people received the same collection of photographs; claims the photo with only one boy was definitely Johnny, and probably taken just hours or days after his abduction, naming similar features such as the length of his hair; then refers to more pictures (ultimately over 500) surfacing as the months went on, most with boys other than Johnny and one showing a perpetrator along with the child victims; Rothstein says the photos came from Tim White, but doesn't know the exact origin; mentions another batch of pictures that showed up in Omaha around the same time, which were explicit child pornography; Noreen says that since posting the photos on her website, they've been getting regular tips, and she's shared the photos with the NCMEC to hopefully identify the children; Rothstein says that many parents of missing children refuse to speak about their cases out of fear the police might get mad at them and refuse to help them anymore; in part 5, Rothstein says he personally interviewed a man who went to Chicago to set up the visit from Johnny to Noreen, and that there were specific rules about what Johnny was allowed to do, such as not going to the police; at the end of part 5, Rothstein says that Noreen's investigation has made a connection with the smiley face killer case
    • Sword and Scale interview in 2015 (starts at 44:00) - at 45:50 Noreen says that Orval Cooney went to the pedophile parties in Omaha; she cites, at 48:18, "one young boy who actually saw Johnny stuffed into a vehicle" (probably P.J. Smith); says around 50:00 that Cooney's successor was kinder, but the case had been so bungled by that point that the police still couldn't pursue it effectively; claims that they had a lab run by the NCMEC authenticate the photos that Noreen received as being of Johnny; insists that Nelson Zalva could offer no proof that the photo was his, that the boys were never identified, and that the other photos (although not necessarily the three boys with Zalva) did include Johnny; around 52:00, the host Mike starts to get into the controversial issue of Noreen implicating her ex-husband; at 54:00 Noreen says that she never directly accused her husband of being involved in the case, and that she considers it an unanswered question, stemming from Bonacci answering the judge's own question of how they knew Johnny would be alone by saying prior arrangements were made with Johnny's father; she goes on to say that she doesn't see why Bonacci would lie about that detail, but is unwilling to embrace his allegation until it is proven; starting around 57:25 she says that Bonacci identified Michael Aquino as "the Colonel" who paid for Johnny; she says around 58:50 that she knows where the house in Sioux City IA was and who owned it; Noreen refers to the court records of the Bonacci trial being sealed, and says that in 2008, former Omaha police chief Robert Wadman "tried to gain control of the sealed file" so he could destroy it, leading her to enlist John DeCamp to stop it from happening; around 1:01:30 Noreen says that Alisha Owen's child looks exactly like Wadman and he refused to take a DNA test; Noreen claims that Wadman started threatening her because her website hosted a report given to her by Ted Gunderson that mentioned public information from the Omaha World-Herald about him; she also discusses being sued by Wadman, which was dropped after DeCamp beat him in court; and she says that Wadman left threatening messages on her home answering machine; at 1:02:40 Noreen describes giving a personal message to Johnny on the Leeza Gibbons show telling him how to find her, just before his 1997 visit; then she gets upset at being questioned about the visit and threatens to hang up; she says that Johnny related how the pedophile operation (such as safe houses) worked and named names, after which she went to the county attorney and gave him all that information, crediting it to an "informant"; Noreen claims that the county attorney, John Sarcone, has had her back ever since and knows the information is accurate; says she was recently invited to an early-morning law enforcement conference where someone recognized her as the one who forced the FBI to change how it investigated missing children's cases; David Beilinson says that elements which couldn't be verified beyond the surface-level allegations were left out; Beilinson gives his standard Q&A about belief in Noreen's account: was Johnny abducted, if so was it organized, if so who was it and what else did they do; he makes clear he believes that there was an organized conspiracy to abduct Johnny, but is unable to say how far beyond that it goes
    • FAWcast interview in 2016/09 - at 1:25 Noreen mentions how the night before, Johnny asked to do his paper route by himself because all the other boys were, and though Noreen rejected it, saying that the other boys were older than him, he went out alone anyway; says a blue over blue car pulled up and a man shouted through the window that he was asking for directions, but Johnny kept walking to the paper drop at the corner; refers to how the blue car made a U-turn in the street and pulled back up to where the kids were sitting folding their papers, then the man got out through the passenger door and started asking questions, using garbled words as if he was under in the influence or had a speech impediment; says that as Johnny walked away creeped out by the man, the man got back into his car, slammed the door, started the engine, and flicked the dome light three times before speeding away; she says that as soon as that happened, a tall thin man (estimated about 6'5) came out from between two houses and followed Johnny quite stealthily; says that the blue car had gone full circle and came back up on a side street, where it parked; Noreen claims around 4:50 that as Johnny turned, the back door opened, somebody got out, the man following Johnny shot him with something that made him drop to the ground, and they both loaded Johnny into the car before they slammed the door and ran the stop sign heading north on 42nd Street; according to Noreen, a boy in his bedroom (P.J. Smith) is the one who heard a scuffle, looked out the window, and saw Johnny being shot then loaded into the car; around 7:30 Noreen claims to have had written witness statements from all the people on the street written down before police arrived; says that police did go to interview all the witnesses, but didn't bother to bring any writing implements, which baffled the parents of the witnesses and caused them to call Noreen; at 12:40 Noreen says the police chief got very angry at her for wanting a private investigator; at 15:00 Noreen says that the kids who saw the blue car were then taken to a dealership to pick out the color of the paint chips, which change color under mercury vapor light; around 17:00 she claims that Chief Cooney also made statements to the news that Johnny was just a runaway; Noreen recalls being at a conference with parents of missing children who were mistreated by police, and the RCMP were there speaking about how in a short time, they'd be able to uplink a child's information throughout the world in a matter of seconds on the "Information Superhighway"; around 19:30 Noreen says that on a daily basis, she worked with the private investigators, who canvassed a radius surrounding her home and performed door-to-door interviews; at 20:00 she refers to one man who was extremely grateful to have been approached by the investigators, saying that he had tried unsuccessfully to tell police what he saw: he got up early to get a drink, heard a motor running, and looked out the window, where he noticed a van parked against the flow of traffic, and after watching the van for a while, a blue over blue car pulled up, something long was unloaded from the backseat, and it was put in the van, before both cars headed back north towards the interstate; she says that when the detective came back to her with the report, he told her to bury it and never give it to police; Noreen says that members of the finance committee pulled her aside and said the Johnny Gosch law wouldn't be enforced; she claims that at the July 1984 signing, another legislator next to her said the bill was only to humor her as there would never be another kidnapping, and that the Foundation subsequently began a letter writing campaign against that legislator with his quote; at 25:48 Noreen says that earlier in the summer of 1984, she was contacted by a man who said he had information about the case and wanted to meet, then told her at the meeting that there would be a second paperboy kidnapping in Des Moines on the South Side in the second weekend in August, and he wanted her to go to the police with the information but balked at her willingness to tell them his name; Noreen says the Des Moines police wouldn't let her talk to a detective, and she told the news directors at local TV stations as well as one reporter at the Des Moines Register (ed. note: Frank Santiago); Noreen says she arrived home from a hearing in Washington DC, and ABC 20/20 arrived the next day doing a follow-up story of Johnny Gosch; claims that after the filming, she told the producer about the forewarning of the kidnapping the next day (Sunday), prompting the producer to stay in Des Moines; Noreen claims that early the next morning, a TV reporter called out of breath stating that there had been another kidnapping exactly like she said, which he heard because the news director shared it to make fun of Noreen; at 28:45 Noreen says Johnny was photographed 2 weeks before the kidnapping, as witnessed by a neighbor; at 30:00 Noreen says she knows for certain that after his abduction, Johnny was transported to a house, kept there for about 2 weeks, and photographed so that his pictures could be advertised to pedophile buyers, one of whom arrived and counted out money on the table to purchase Johnny; around 32:10 Noreen says that in 1985, a prisoner in Des Moines sent a letter claiming that there was a ring operating in northwest Iowa, all of whom were using children from some kind of list; and she says she checked out the lead on her own, getting all the information which she gave to Governor Branstad, leading to a ring in the Fort Dodge area getting busted; at 35:30 Noreen claims that after Bonacci confessed to his attorney, his attorney hired a private investigator to vet what Bonacci said, and everything checked out; she says that after the private investigator did his work, he contacted the family and brought tapes of the interviews; says he wanted her to do a meeting with Bonacci in prison, and she called WHO to document it; at 36:55 Noreen describes fainting upon seeing Bonacci in person for the first time; she says the private investigator asked Bonacci "Do you know who this lady is?", he said "No", and the investigator told him it was Johnny's mom, leading Bonacci to burst into tears and apologize profusely before he gave a detailed account of the kidnapping; Noreen points out at 38:25 how Bonacci said in the prison interview that they drove a few blocks to where a van (whose color and direction told by Bonacci matched that of the buried witness account) was parked; Noreen recalls how, in response to the private investigator wanting to set up a prison meeting with Bonacci, she said she needed some time to be able to face Bonacci without being angry; she references around 42:10 all the safehouses used to keep children, some of which Bonacci revealed, and says they tended to be in the middle of nowhere; Noreen claims the Colorado ranch was burned down after America's Most Wanted aired; at 43:15 Noreen recalls Bonacci mentioning how the kids were taken to a Mexican restaurant in Colorado, and one of the kids had a bottle of red nail polish which they used to write a message, something that friends of the Gosch family later saw on their trip to the restaurant; at 44:45 Noreen recounts how Bonacci said that after the kidnapping they took Johnny to a house outside of Sioux City IA run by a man named "Charlie", and he sketched a detailed picture of the man, which the private investigator for Bonacci's attorney took to the county attorney, who searched through all the county's mugshots to find the man; she claims "Charlie" had a lengthy rap sheet for sexual offenses; around 48:00 Noreen says Orval Cooney resigned on a Monday morning due to "stress" which was really her threat to sue the city; at 48:55 Noreen mentions how in the 1980s, it was very prevalent for kids to be photographed and targeted for abduction, and describes the neighbor witnessing photos being taken of Johnny by a man using a telephoto lens in a car with California plates; she continues at 50:00 that one particular man who had a vehicle that was at the kidnapping site (ed. note: Sam Soda) brought photos of Johnny to the motel the night before and said he was the kid who they were taking the next morning; she recounts how many years prior, NCMEC president Robert Lowery revealed to her that there was a third kidnapping in Des Moines in 1986, which she had never heard before, and told Jan Michaelson; she claims the police told Marc Allen's mother back in 1986 not to go to the press or Noreen Gosch, and broke the Johnny Gosch law; Noreen says the March 1997 visitor said when knocking "It's me, mom, it's Johnny"; she wanted Johnny to stay and tell his story to help get the perpetrators brought to justice; around 1:00:30 Noreen says the attorney in the 1999 trial asked her if she'd ever seen or talked to Johnny again, and she remained silent but the judge instructed her to answer, and she testified she had seen him once; according to her, a reporter for the Associated Press was sitting there and wrote everything down; she says she learned a lot more about how the trafficking network operated at the trial; Noreen insists around 1:08:40 (after some time mentioning the Wetterling case) that there's no evidence Johnny is dead, and her investigators have received reports of him living under another identity; at 1:11:10 Noreen refers to Why Johnny Can't Come Home and suggests those who want the book get in touch with her by writing to JohnnyGoschFoundation AT aol.com
    • Catherine April Watters interview on 2017/01/05 - as before, Noreen recounts the story of the WDM police chief telling searchers that Johnny was "nothing but a damn runaway"; she emphasizes Bonacci's willingness to admit when he didn't know certain facts, which stood out to her; Noreen Gosch claims around 25:00 that just before Troy Boner's death, he came into a Texas psychiatric facility (which is true) ranting about the Johnny Gosch abduction, and that after his death, a nurse looked up the case and contacted her about it, which she relayed to Rothstein, Gunderson, and DeCamp; she says that only about six years before 2017, the NCMEC tried to set up a task force to investigate Johnny, Eugene, and Marc Allen's disappearances, but the WDM police refused to cooperate; claims that the police told Marc Allen's parents not to talk to the press about their son's abduction to avoid panicking the public, and also told them not to talk to Noreen because she was a "troublemaker", ensuring that she didn't even find out about Marc Allen until recently when the NCMEC told her; Noreen says around 43:30 that she worked on the Trump campaign because she wanted to get rid of high-level corruption, and accuses anti-Trump protesters of being paid; she mentions around 48:30 that President Reagan told her he was confident in the FBI's investigation of her son's kidnapping; Noreen compliments Nick Bryant around 55:00 as doing an excellent job on his book about the Franklin scandal, with no mention of their earlier falling-out; she mentions at 58:30 that the WDM police chief (referring to Orval Cooney) died of a heart attack just as her attorney was preparing a civil case against him; says that much earlier, she told the city council of her plans to file a $20 million lawsuit against the city for the police chief's negligence, leading them to conduct an emergency non-public council meeting in which they forced Cooney to resign; then she says that four months later, Cooney was arrested for stealing blank videotapes and molly screws from Target; at the very end of the interview, Noreen makes it clear that she still stands by her original book in 2000, offering to tell the interviewer how to get a copy
  • West Des Moines Police Department case 82-2976 (archive)

Paul Bonacci info

  • Letters from victims of the ring
    • 1992 Inside Edition broadcast mentions and shows some of the letters Bonacci has: the Letter 01 published by Nick Bryant saying "The Col is gone to Mexico and took JG with him" and another letter saying "J.G. was not the only boy we got from D.M."
    • 1992 Des Moines Register article linked below also mentions the letters received by Bonacci
    • Nick Bryant, "Johnny Gosch: A Proof of Life", 2010
      • Google Drive folder containing the letters - calls Emilio by the names "REM6" and "Mike Emilio"
      • Letter 01: 1, 2 - from Sacramento CA; says "The Col is gone to Mexico and took JG with him"
      • Letter 02: 1 - from Brockton MA; refers to "Emilio's buddy in Des Moines" who is called "the dragon", and broke away from Emilio and went to Boston; refers to "Charley" having been in prison and abusing multiple kids including Johnny
      • Letter 03: 1 - from Kansas City MO; mentions "the Church of California, LaVey's group"
    • Who Took Johnny showed a letter to Bonacci mentioning how Johnny and some other kids were at a Mexican restaurant, where they painted their nails and then wrote on the wall in red nail polish, containing the phrase "In Colorado we painted are nails and I wrote on the wall with JG"
  • Status of the case in late 1990 and early 1991
  • Newspaper articles
    • Des Moines Register, "Omaha investigator to take on Gosch case", 1991/06/28 - Noreen mentions that Roy Stephens has been looking through "good information" and following leads in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota, but there's no specific mention of an informant like Bonacci yet; mentions Stephens' controversial history in the Jill Cutshall case, where he took suspect David Phelps out into the wilderness, fired a gun into the air, and told Phelps to start digging
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch: Ring of pedophiles took Johnny", 1991/07/18 (pages 1, 18)
    • St. Paul Pioneer Press, "MOM BELIEVES SEX RING KIDNAPPED SON, OTHERS", 1991/07/19 - "The mother of a missing newspaper carrier Johnny Gosch says she believes her son was kidnapped by a child sex ring that also may be responsible for other Midwest abductions, including that of Jacob Wetterling. Noreen Gosch said information gathered by private investigator Roy Stephens indicates four men, one of them a Des Moines-area resident, planned and carried out the 1982 abduction of her son. She did not identify the men but said the identities of three of them are known. [...] Gosch said Stephens told her the same men may also be involved in other abductions, including Martin's and the October 1989 kidnapping of the Wetterling boy near St. Joseph, Minn." (see this 2008 Franklin Files thread)
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch 'informant' was figure in Omaha scandal", 1991/07/21: pages 12, 14 - "He contends it was carried out by four men, including a local man who made the arrangements and made a substantial amount of money on the deal. [...] The Gosches say Bonacci has provided good information on the Des Moines "source" [Sam Soda] and has identified his picture. They decline to identify the man, but say their private investigation has accumulated a variety of information on him that is being added to almost daily."
    • Des Moines Register, "Lawyer sure inmate's story of Gosch is true", 1991/07/24: pages 3
    • Lincoln Journal Star, "Mrs. Gosch asks public for its help", 1991/09/05: pages 26
    • Des Moines Register, "Inmate relates story of youth's abduction", 1991/10/29: pages 15 - gives a detailed account of the roles of "Emilio", "Tony", "Sam", and "Charlie"; says "Bonacci contends that the abduction was planned in Des Moines, that it was carried off by a team of men primarily for money, and that Gosch was sold to pornographers. [...] After riding around for several minutes on the floor of the back of Emilio's car, Bonacci said, he was instructed to be ready for a victim and to hold the victim down in the back of the car and chloroform him. When the car stopped, a young boy was shoved in, and Bonacci said he placed the rag on his mouth. When unconscious, the boy was transferred to a station wagon driven by Sam, who Bonacci said was white, medium height and heavy. From the station wagon, the boy was placed in a van driven by Tony, a tall, blond man with a bad complexion."
    • Des Moines Register, "Man who claims role in Gosch kidnapping is denied parole", 1991/11/01: pages 2
    • Des Moines Register, "Why do police ignore Gosch suspect?" by John and Noreen Gosch, 1991/10/18 (pages 12 OCR): "Again, we tried to look on the positive side and hope with this all being out in the open, including the names of the kidnappers, that surely the authorities would then seek out Paul Bonacci and talk to him. Again, silence followed by their declaration from their offices that they had decided Paul is not credible on our case, that due to a multiple-personality disorder he has fabricated all of the information about Johnny. If that is true, how was Paul able to select the correct photograph from a line-up of photos and tell us about the local man in Des Moines named Sam and his involvement in our case? Paul has correctly given us his first and last name. This man has been a suspect in the case for four years. This is quite a coincidence. If this terrible tragedy could happen to our son, and the years of pain and work to solve it could be thrown away when a confession finally comes in the case by the authorities, it could happen to anyone. Those responsible for our son's kidnapping are still free. We know who they are at this time, but nothing would prevent them from kidnapping again, especially when they see and hear news reports that authorities will do nothing to help. John and Noreen Gosch, 1004 45th, St., West Des Moines" - corroborates that Bonacci and possibly other victims also knew Sam Soda as "Soda Pop"
    • Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Decade later, Gosches think case solved", 1992/03/20: pages 1, 8 - gives a fuller background on how the Gosches came across Bonacci, which may not be completely accurate: Noreen had "shut down on the case" during late 1990; John Gosch Sr. took the call from John DeCamp about Bonacci at that time; Gosch Sr. was skeptical of Bonacci but hired Roy Stephens to meet Bonacci and check out his story; he later went to meet Bonacci in person, coming away convinced he was telling the truth; he told Noreen about Bonacci in March 1991 (discrepancy with Noreen's book; she says it was Roy Stephens, not her husband, who told her); they decided to send a photo of a Des Moines man (evidently Sam Soda) who had come under suspicion; Stephens told them that Bonacci picked their photo out of a lineup of a dozen photos, named the man, and said he brought the photos of Johnny to the motel
    • Omaha World-Herald, "Iowan Believes DeCamp Book", 1992/04/17
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch says letters offer a new lead", 1992/09/05: pages 19
    • EIR, "Tenth anniversary of Gosch kidnap noted", 1992/09/18: "CBS News nationally aired an interview with child sex abuse victim Paul Bonacci on Sept. 4, as part of a report on the 10th anniversary of the kidnaping of Johnny Gosch, which took place on Labor Day weekend."
    • Des Moines Register, "TV episode examines Martin, Gosch disappearances", 1992/11/20: pages 22
    • Des Moines Register, "FBI looks at similarity of sketches in Gosch case", 1992/11/30
    • Des Moines Register, "Suspect in California case tied to abduction of Gosch", 1992/12/10: pages 17
  • 2013 Franklin Files comment by Denise Meyer of John DeCamp's law firm says that Mike was an alter personality of Paul Bonacci: "Mikey is one of Paul's alters. So Paul was there as Mikey."

"Emilio" identity

"Tony" identity

  • 2008 Franklin Files post on the role of Tony (archive): "Witness's of Johnny's kidnapping,at the corner of 42nd & Ashworth, where Emilio first approached Johnny, reported seeing a second very tall man follow Johnny after he walked away from the paper drop. When Bonacci came forward, he reported Emilio was the driver of the car, Tony (with the acne scars on his face) followed Johnny and after Johnny dropped to the ground, Tony lifted his shoulders, Paul reached over and grabbed his legs, he was brought into the car and further subdued by Bonacci."
  • Compare the sketches of Tony posted on 2008/07/12 to the composites of Michaela Joy Garecht's kidnapper (Dear Michaela blog, Geocities website)
  • Phillip Paske, the business partner of John Norman, bears a resemblance to the "Tony" sketch and has many attributes in common: he trafficked boys and girls, he was tall and thin with long blond hair, he had a bad complexion, and he was known to dress as a woman. There are indications that John Norman's pedophile ring was linked to Franklin, reinforcing the possibility that Paske may have been part of Franklin as well. And while not proven, some tentative evidence suggests that Paske was not only in the Midwest when Johnny Gosch was abducted, but also in the San Francisco Bay Area when Michaela Garecht was abducted.
  • Gerald Battistoni, a known child molester from Massachusetts
    • Websleuths discussion of Battistoni as a suspect along with Marvin Pontarelli (pages 25, 26)
      • "1967: Pontarelli has first kidnapping arrest/shootout with police in Washington state. Never goes to prison, skips town for Chicago (where his family lives)

        1971- arrested in San Bernadino, CA for kidnapping/raping 15 year old girl that he kidnapped from her friend's home, shooting the parents. Kept the girl for two days before police found them and talked him down. Goes to federal prison in CA where he meets and befriends a man named Larry Fassler.

        Larry Fassler, in the late 60's, was known as the "king of smugglers" by U.S. Customs office in Tuscon, AZ. His planes flew at least 3 times a weeks carrying contraband (known to be toiletries, tvs, radios, etc.) to Mexico and bringing drugs back to US. His route was Culiacan, Mexico to Tucson, AZ to San Fran, CA. He was arrested for smuggling and for his part of murdering a fellow smuggler who double crossed him. He was convicted only for the smuggling part, although the body of the former partner was found later."
      • "1982: Tricia Kellet is kidnapped from Chicago. By all accounts, Pontarelli was at least one of the perps involved (some accounts say there were two men). All three child witnesses identified him and this was confirmed with a witness recollection of the car and license plate (beat up four-door 69 model sedan). Police, from the beginning, suspect she has been kidnapped for child prostitution/porn purposes. It is revealed that Pontarelli has been giving the children drugs and shooting porn of them. A few weeks later, all witness children's parents are paid off with fancy new cars so they decide not to testify against him and all charges are dropped six months later. It appears that Pontarelli flees back to CA/AZ at this time."
      • "1984: Tucson, Arizona. Pontarelli is overheard to want a "young blonde white girl" to be photographed having sex with Fassler for purposes of blackmail because Pontarelli owes him a lot of money (payoff for Tricia witnesses? Drugs?). When brought in and questioned by police, Pontarelli says Fassler was the last to have Tricia and that he had been taking "underage" girls to Mexico. He then freaks out and recants and says nevermind, one of his personalities may have killed her and buried her in Chicago. Police again let him go."
      • "I do not have a date for this yet, but Marvin Pontarelli is listed as at some point having an address in Vallejo, CA and has a record of arrest in Solano County, CA. So he was indeed connected to the area those girls disappeared."
    • Comment from 2012/05/25 by David Bunn on StoptheDrugWar.org, "Marijuana: Barney Frank to Introduce Federal Decriminalization Bill", 2008/03/28: "It is 4 years since I posted here. The cat is now out of the bag in Mass. It has been revealed by a private detective, Dan Malley, that Gerald Battistoni, a/k/a Confidential Informant #62 is an informant for the Eastern Hampton County Narcotics Task Force, and has been since the mid 1990's. Gerald Battistoni has worked under the direct supervision of Special Agent/Sgt Scott E. Haley of Palmer Mass. Haley claims possession of this snitch in depositions taken during a civil suit in Federal Court. Scott E. Haley claimed in an affidavit that I sold marijuana to Gerald Battistoni on three dates that I was documented in the hospital. I never met Gerald Battistoni. Gerald Battistoni is now in jail for 10-12 years for child rape, and is the prime suspect in two cold case murders. Detective Dan Malley and the family of Molly Bish are now asking the FBI to take a look at Gerald Battistoni as a suspect in the killing of their daughter Molly. The FBI also needs to look at how Gerald Battistoni was used as an informant. The way he was attached to the affisavit used against me is illegal and makes the whole task force, and any case they worked on suspect. It seems that while Gerald Battistoni was working for the police, he was raping and killing children. The Eastern Hampton County Task Force was the branch of the police looking into the Molly Bish case. Gerald was their snitch so no wonder the crime was never solved."
  • Acquazzino family - name from David Shurter
    • Johnny Gosch Foundation received a tip from an Omaha resident, identifying the two as relatives and corroborating where they lived: "There is reason to suspect that the same person may have been involved in both the abductions of Johnny Gosch in Iowa in 1982 and Michaela Garecht in Hayward, CA in 1988. This link is based on the similarity of descriptions of the perp in both kidnappings. The composite from the Garecht case was shown to a witness to the Gosch abduction (Paul Bonacci) who stated that it looked like one of Johnny's kidnappers.

      Bonacci stated that this man's name was "Tony". The other kidnappers were identified as "Emilio" and "Michael". The Foundation has reason to believe (I am not sure where they obtained this info) that all three men are related. A tip came in from an unidentified witness that said that he/she had lived across the street from a family in Omaha, NE who had three brothers that matched the names of Johnny's kidnappers. The tipster also indentified the composites of Tony and Emilio as matching the neighbors that he/she knew. From this tip, the Foundation now had a last name to match up with the first names. (For obvious reasons, I cannot provide that name publicly.)

      It was at this point that I became involved. Armed with a first and last name, I and other researchers looked into anything that we could find about Tony. I discovered two interesting facts: (1) That he could be placed living in Nebraska in 1982 during the Gosch kidnapping and also living in California during the 1988 kidnapping of Garecht, and (2) the vehicle that he registered when he moved to California matches the general description of the vehicle used in the Garecht case - a "older" tan sedan.

      It is important to remember that these two facts were discovered AFTER the Foundation had been given the last name. They both lend credence to the name being the correct. If we had found that he was living in Hawaii and driving a Volkswagen Beetle in 1988, then this would point away from his involvement, but both location and vehicle information aligned with details about Michaela's kidnapper.

      This information has been given to the Hayward PD detective in charge of the ongoing investigaton into the Garecht case. Police are usually pretty tight-lipped about sharing information, but he did say one thing very significant that I cannot share at this time. But I will say that it was enough of a blockbuster that I changed my opinion of this identification being correct went from "possible" to "very probable". I now believe that we have the name of the kidnappers in both cases."
    • 2009 update by Dr. Doogie on WebSleuths: "There definitely is a Michael who is a brother or maybe a cousin. The existence of Emilio is less definite. There does not appear to be an Emilio listed anywhere on the Internet with the same last name. It has been claimed that investigators for the JG Foundation had found where all three brothers were mentioned as alumni of an elementary school, but that it was removed shortly after they saw it. I personally did not see it so I cannot confirm the correctness of this report. What I do know is that every reference of a person's existence cannot be removed from every possible source. For example, a person could theoritically deleted from Classmates.com, but it would be nearly impossible to hunt down every high school yearbook that every alumni of that school that might mention a person. It is believed that Emilio died a few years ago, but older references to him must exist out there somewhere."
    • Whitepages info for Tony W. Acquazzino (lived in Omaha NE during the Gosch abduction and California during the Garecht abduction)
    • Intelius info for Tony (adds that he attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln from 1978-83) (version as of 2018/01/17 now says that he attended the University of Nebraska Omaha and Kearney State College at the same time)
    • TruePeopleSearch info for Tony - reveals that he moved to Orange County CA (at 23242 Orange Ave #3) in November 1986
    • LinkedIn profile for Tony (says he actually attended University of Nebraska Kearney) (yearbooks here)
    • The alumni websites for Milliard South High School, Omaha Central High School, and Milliard North High School (which are all in Omaha NE) all have a Tony Acquaazino or Anthony Acquazzino graduating in 1977
    • Yet a Tony Acquazzino also appears in a 1977 newsletter for Westside High School (yet another HS in Omaha NE)
    • 1977 Westside newsletter has a picture of Tony Acquazzino (not great match for Bonacci description, though this is years prior)
    • 1976 Westside yearbook also has a picture
    • Whitepages info for Michael S. Acquazzino (longtime resident of Omaha NE)
    • Photograph of Mike Acquazzino from 1986
    • Obituary for Tony and Michael's father
    • Intelius info for Emilio Acquazzone (said to be living in San Antonio TX)
    • David Shurter, "McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, Tom the Owner, and His Connection to the French Cafe in Omaha NE", 2012/03/04 - claims that the "Aquazinno brothers (Mike, Tony, and Emilio)" all worked at the French Cafe while trafficking "drugs and kids"
    • 2018/06/01 email from University of Nebraska Kearney registrar Kimra Schipporeit, confirming that Tony Acquazzino was a Kearney graduate: "Your request for degree verification was forwarded to me for a response. Tony Acquazzino received a bachelor of science from Kearney State College (now, University of Nebraska Kearney) in May 1983. His major was Political Science and his minor was PE."
    • 2016/08/22 photograph with Tony Acquazzino (second from left on bottom row)
  • 2010 Franklin Files post by Dr. Doogie may or may not be about Tony Acquazzino (archive): "This is important because this Tony that I have found looked like the composite in 1989 (according to my LE source - I will see the pic Monday) and a recent picture is a dead-ringer for the composite of Emilio. If they were related, then this would make sense. And this Tony has lived both in Omaha and Northern California. He would have been 20 for the Gosch kidnapping and 26 for the Garecht kidnapping. He is described in his wanted poster as having severe acne/pockmarks. This guy is looking REAL good, but I want to hear from eyewitnesses who can possibly identify this guy." - now Dr. Doogie denies having seen any photos of the "Tony" suspect
  • 2018/01/25 and 2018/03/07 and 2018/06/02-04 email exchange with Dr. Doogie - some pertinent excerpts:
    • "He had lived in Omaha at the time of Gosch's disappearance and had moved to California by the time of the Garecht kidnapping. A background check I ran on him indicated that he did own a car that seemed to match the vehicle used in the Garecht kidnapping [...]"
    • "From memory, the vehicle was a gold-colored four-door American sedan"
    • "One oddity that I found about Acquazinno is that his address is also associated with the names of three Pakistani men whose names all matched economists who were involved in the financing of Pakistan's nuclear program. I do not know if this bolsters the big conspiracy theories about the JG case or if simply many people in Pakistan have the same names."
    • "I do not have any notes from my research anymore, so I do not have any names. However, if I recall correctly, how I found the names is probably through the Veromi.net site. If you wanted to recreate that search, try the following: Enter "Anthony Aquazinno" and "California" into the search criteria. The Lake Forest address should come up. If the Pakistanis do not appear as associates in this report, try entering the address itself as a "search by address" which should show anyone who has reported to that address in the past. I do not recall if I ever directly linked the Pakis and Aquazinno as residing in the same place at the same time. When the names came up, I had no idea as to their significance until I searched each name on google independently. When the first name came up as linked to the Paki nuclear program, I thought it was a coincidence based on someone with the same name. However when the other two names came up with the same results, I was shocked. And think about it: if these were just common names in Pakistan, the results would have showed the same three names as doctors, lawyers, auto mechanics, etc also. But no, they were all listed as names of people of high finance who were involved in channeling funds to Pakistan's nascent nuclear program and nothing else."
    • "Upon reflection, I think that at least the name Mehboob Ul Haque is one of the names that I came up with. It is rather "Beavis and Buttheadish" but I remember chuckling at the name Mehboob. LOL"
    • "For the life of me, I cannot recall why I would have said that about the Hayward PD officer's comments. I wouldn't have made it up, but there is nothing in my memory banks that corresponds with that statement."
    • "I recall coming across a Tony who was a registered sex offender in Placer County, CA (I believe in the city of Roseville) who was a dead ringer for the "Emilio" composite. He was a different Tony with a different last name. I do not recall his last name or have that photo. I suspect if you search California's Megan's List for a "Tony" or "Anthony" in Roseville, you may find him."
    • "I honestly do not remember where the Roseville Tony had been. I never had any inside information concerning POIs from the Garecht case."
  • Potential Pakistani men associated with the 23242 Orange Ave #3, Lake Forest CA address (2001-2012) - from pages 1, 2, 3
    • Mehboob Ul Haque (age 65 as of Mar 2018) - similar name to Mahbub ul Haq, a Pakistani economist and think-tank member who died at age 64 in 1998
    • Mohammad Amin Khan (age 45 as of Mar 2018)
    • Nayyer Asad Khan (age 46 as of Mar 2018)
    • Rahim Baangush Khan (age 57 as of Mar 2018)
    • Mohammad Asad Khan (age 51 as of Mar 2018)
    • Mohammad Iqbal Awan (age 75 deceased Jan 2013) - similar name to Muhammad Iqbal Awan, a Joint Secretary of Ministry of Finance in Pakistan and board member of several Pakistani fuel companies
    • Shab Khattak (age 46 as of Mar 2018)
    • Nadeem Ulhaq (age 59 as of Mar 2018)
    • Kashif Iqbal Awan (age 42 as of Mar 2018)
    • Musrrat I Awan (age 62 deceased Dec 2006)
  • Potential Pakistani men associated with the 26295 Lily Gln, Lake Forest CA address (2008-present)
  • 2010 Franklin Files posts mentions some audacious claims about "Tony": "I am wondering if anyone has any further info about the Tony character. Such as if he reputedly went to UNO late 80s/early 90s, had been a bounty hunter (for real) possibly in Tx and went by the name of Mike, commonly called psycho Mike? Overtly racist/nazi yet listened to "gangsta" rap, walked weird like he was falling forward, think must have been from an injury."
  • According to Dr. Doogie, Paul Bonacci and Jimmy Gibson supplied a different name for "Tony"
  • Anthony P. Welsh
    • Cubib information - says that he lived at many of the same addresses that FastPeopleSearch says Roger Matice lived at: 410 Myra Way, San Francisco, CA; 5445 Sheridan Rd, Chicago IL; 4120 Clarendon Ave, Chicago IL
    • FamilyTreeNow information - name is Anthony P. Welsh of Ann Arbor MI; born 1958/08/03 and died 1996/08/14 (two years before Paske)
    • BeenVerified information

John Gosch Sr.

  • From p.114 of Unsolved Child Murders: Eighteen American Cases, 1956-1998 by Emily G. Thompson (read near here): "[...] and the Iowa Fertilizer and Chemical Association, John's employer, added another $2,500."
  • Website for the Agribusiness Association of Iowa: "Iowa Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) The IFCA was created in 1964, to promote the use of fertilizer, agricultural chemicals, and other economic plant food carriers in Iowa, and assist in educational and research programs. In 1969, with a membership of more than 500, the leaders of the IFCA saw an opportunity to even further enhance the objectives of the Association and merged with the Iowa Agricultural Ammonia Distributors. The newly formed Association experienced tremendous growth in the 1970s and 1980s and became the largest state fertilizer and chemical association in the United States with a membership base of nearly 1,400. The early visionaries who recognized the importance of a unified voice in legislative and regulatory matters and that presence was the driving force of the IFCA. The IFCA also worked very hard to promote the responsible use of fertilizer and pesticides and was actively involved in a number of statewide projects designed to protect water quality and preserve the environment."
  • Prior abuse / prostitution of Johnny
    • See below about John's alleged trip with Johnny to Offutt AFB a month before his abduction
    • Websleuths discussion on 2006/12/27 that the bondage photos which are too young to be Johnny post-kidnapping might be from before his kidnapping, indicating he was abused before his disappearance
    • 2008/10/24 Franklin Files post called "Hi Everybody" by Darron Reimer suggests that John was enabling Johnny to be sexually abused and subsequently paid some thugs to kidnap and murder him, before feeding Paul Bonacci a story to make it appear that Johnny was still alive
    • In an interview with Darron Reimer, he expresses that he now believes that Johnny is still alive, but still suspects that LJG was involving Johnny in pedophile activities before the abduction. Darron, who was abused by a Franklin-type group in Los Angeles, says he had a flashback to his own abuse upon seeing a photo of LJG, and confirmed with Noreen that LJG went on business trips to Los Angeles at the time of his abuse (mid 1970s) with Johnny.
    • From Rabbit Hole by David Shurter: "While in the hospital, a woman was admitted who had the same last name as Johnny Gosch. Introducing herself to Jacob and me, she explained that she was Noreen’s ex-husband’s niece. I couldn’t believe the coincidence. But instead of viewing it as an act of fate, after what I’d just experienced, I found myself believing it was some sort of set-up. She told us that Johnny was indeed a runaway and impressed upon us the fact that he had lived with physical abuse, which contradicted everything his mother was saying. Over pizza, she told us about her family and why she felt that all situations concerning her cousin were a reflection of the craziness that was part of his mother’s psychological makeup."
    • David Shurter, "The CIA Run Organization the Satanic Temple Publishes An Article About One of Their Own Survivor Conferences and My Explanation about the Tinfoil", 2016/06/11: "But I think that what happened AFTER this video is what is important. I ended up going to the hospital for the first time in my adult life. As you can see from my video- I was EXHAUSTED and completely beside myself. I was being inundated with a loud buzzing that went from high to low pitch with NO discernable rhythm. Thus, my brain wouldn’t shut down and I went with 3 weeks without sleep and lost an UNTOLD amount of weight. There were NO voices, and I wasn’t wearing tinfoil on my head but rather was using a stocking cap to hold two pieces of tinfoil over my ears. Now it didn’t work- but at the time, I would have ran around town naked singing the “Star spangled banner” had I thought it would help- as I was desperate for this to stop. I stayed in the hospital for a week- and during that time- Johnny Gosch’s cousin was supposedly admitted at the same time. Quite a coincidence, huh- that I am investigating the Johnny Gosch abduction and at the same time I am in the hospital- his cousin just happens to be admitted- claiming she was Johnny Gosch’s father’s brother’s daughter. She told me and my husband Mike over pizza that Johnny had been horribly abused and that he had run away as a result- and was NEVER abducted. In fact, she said a lot of things- none of which I believed."
      • Find A Grave memorial for Alyce Gosch deceased 1990/10/31: "She is survived by her husband, Alfred, Auburn; six sons, Fred, Webster City; Francis, Kenosha, Wis.; Richard. Normal, IL.; John, West Des Moines; Robert, LaVista, Neb.; and Mark, Auburn; eight daughters, Eleanor (Mrs. Francis) Olereich, Wall Lake; Betty (Mrs. Vern) Riesseleman, Halbur; Mary (Mrs. Carl) Snyder, Breda; Ruth Gosch, Omaha; Joan (Mrs. Jose) Hernandez, Omaha; Jeanette (Mrs. Daryl) Mandell, Omaha; Patricia Gosch, Carroll; and Theresa (Mrs. Gregg) Hogan, Lubbock, Texas; 33 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren."
      • Des Moines Register, "Johnny Gosch's grandmother dies", 1990/11/03: "Alyce Gosch, 77, a grandmother of Johnny Gosch, who disappeared eight years ago while delivering newspapers, died Wednesday of complications of diabetes at her home in Auburn. [...] Among Alyce Gosch's six sons is John of West Des Moines, Johnny's father."
      • Nebraska Supreme Court, no. 87-246: State v. Lenz, appeal decision, 1988/02/26: "Lenz lived in a house in Omaha with three other people: his girlfriend, Laurie Milton; Mark Clifford Gosch; and Suzanne Marie Johnson. As a group, they could not pay their utilities. Lenz and Gosch planned to rob Domino's Pizza store, Chandler Road, Sarpy County, Nebraska, where Lenz was once employed. On July 6, 1986, about 2 a.m., Lenz and Gosch changed into dark clothing, obtained a knife and a BB gun, picked up a ski mask and a monster-type mask from the house, and, together with Milton, drove to a house *672 about two blocks from Domino's."
  • Erratic behavior leading up to the abduction
    • Threat of suicide while on a business trip to Raleigh NC in July 1982: impossible to confirm or deny
    • If Noreen's claims about LJG's erratic behavior in the months leading up to Johnny's kidnapping are true, it might suggest he was being blackmailed
  • Offutt Air Force Base trip with Johnny in August 1982
  • Mysterious "wrong number" hang-up phone calls before the abduction
  • Bank withdrawal around the time of the kidnapping
  • Facilitating the kidnapping
    • It is a startling coincidence that on the one day Johnny wasn't accompanied by his father on his Sunday morning paper route, he was kidnapped. That leads to the inference that Johnny being alone that morning was no accident, and that the kidnappers ensured he would be alone to make their job easier. As a result, John has fallen under suspicion for not going out on the route with his son that day. Noreen has even claimed that Paul Bonacci testified about "prior arrangements" with Johnny's father to ensure he would be alone. One flaw in that logic, however, is that it was not John's responsibility to get up and accompany Johnny, but rather Johnny's responsibility to wake his father up. According to Noreen, Johnny asked for permission to go alone on Saturday night, and John initially said yes but Noreen said no and John backed down; Johnny then went on his own anyway. Given that he immediately acquiesced to her wishes, there is no indication that John had any role in Johnny's decision to disobey Noreen, unless he secretly visited Johnny later that night to give him permission to go alone. (If so, that might explain why, according to Noreen, Johnny headed up to bed and then went back down to hug her a second time.) More troubling, however, is the account in early news articles (on September 6) that after neighbors called at 7:45 AM wondering where their papers were, John went out and discovered his son's wagon abandoned, then completed the rest of the paper route before calling police at 8:30 AM. That delay would have given the kidnappers a substantial lead time even if police were willing to conduct a proper investigation. John has since maintained (no later than 1992 in America's MIA Children) that he came home immediately and had Noreen call the police after finding Johnny's wagon abandoned, having known that something was wrong immediately. However, the police report places Noreen's call to police at 8:30 AM, corroborating the time mentioned in the September 6 article. With that time in mind, if John came home right after finding the wagon, the neighbors' calls must have come after 8 AM, which is later than anyone has ever claimed.
    • Websleuths post by dorca the just in 2008 asking who was the Martin family contact with the perps, akin to how John allegedly set up his son
    • As with Johnny's situation, the perpetrators might have actually targeted Eugene directly to convince him to go out alone without telling the rest of his family. One interesting parallel between the Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin abductions is that the person who discovered the boy's papers left abandoned completed the boy's paper route and did not notify police. In the case of Johnny, that was his father, and in the case of Eugene, that was the manager. That said, the manager did promptly notify Eugene's family at 7:15, and his father spent over an hour searching before finally calling the police at 8:40 AM.
  • Abuse of Noreen
  • "Hobby farm" existence and location - mainly alleged by Jimmy Gibson
    • cppweb seems to have been the first person to describe the farm in 2004, and did so as follows: "just about 2/12 months ago there was a team of law enforcement agents with Iowa DCI, FBI and West DesMoines PD and the Polk County Sheriff's dept. digging up around the area where John Gosch had his hobby farm northwest of Des Moines. John used to sell seed and used this plot to do his seed/planting tests and store all his personal stuff including a Korean war era jeep. Well in that jeep under the passenger seat (There is a compartment) was a bunch of tapes, tapes that were telephone recordings of Noreen for a period of three months after the AMW story. Now that is strange. Those tapes are now in the hands of the Iowa DCI for review."
    • Elsewhere, Jimmy Gibson has said that he stayed at the Gosch hobby farm before going to live with Loran Schmit's daughter in South Dakota: "I stayed at the Gosch hobby farm, northwest of DesMoines Iowa for aprx a week, after that I drove to Deadwood South Dakota and stayed with Loren Schmidt's daughter who owns the Bullock Motel. I NEVER STAYED AT THE GOSCH HOME. Please get your facts straight. Thanks Also b4 I left the hobby farm, LJG took my car keys and tried to keep me there, for what reason I have no idea, when he came back one day I had him at gunpoint demanding my leys back, he complied. and I left. The reason I stayed there was killing time while Decamp made the contacts to have me stay with Loren Schmidts daughter in Deadwood. There are many things I discovered while staying at that hobby farm but wont post them here, I have told Noreen what I saw and she can verify it. No games, just the truth."
    • According to LUKE J on Franklin Files (see link below): "The "hobby farm" as Jimmy put it was a farm, 40 acres, near Woodward, Iowa, which LJG & Noreen bought as an investment. It had one building on it and the ground was farmed in crops. The farm was later sold after they divorced. Noreen had been at the farm many times, it was not a secret." A picture of Noreen and John together in a rural area with a wooden house in the background is printed in Noreen's book and also shown near the beginning of Who Took Johnny, and this might be the farm in question.
    • Dallas County assessor documents on the hobby farm (archive)
    • 2015 Franklin Files post by The Truth Shall Set You Free claims the police visited the hobby farm: "Leonard has his hobby farm visited by law enforcement shortly after the disappearance. The question you need to ask about Leonard is this: Why did he complete Johnny's route knowing what happened to his son. Also, ask Noreen why she stayed home during another fruitless search for her son near Interstates 35/80 by Living History Farms. Sure, she claims it was all about making posters, but couldn't have the posters taken a sabbatical in lieu of the search for her son."
  • Noreen impersonator / impostor
  • Association with Franklin scandal perpetrators
    • As described in the Ted Gunderson interview and her 2004 interview with Alex Merklinger, when Noreen showed Rusty Nelson a photo of John after the 1999 trial, he identified the man as having been in Larry King's office at the Franklin Credit Union
    • Noreen recounts in her 2004 interview with Alex Merklinger that a co-worker of hers in Iowa who came from Omaha used to hang out at The Mark, where he was propositioned sexually by Larry King and also saw John Gosch Sr.
    • In his walking tour of Omaha, David Shurter recalls having possibly seen John at a restaurant in the Old Market area of Omaha (the French Cafe?)
    • On the Franklin Files chat, Paul Bonacci says that he might have seen John at Offutt AFB
  • Testimony about prior arrangements
  • Websleuths post by Dr. Doogie on 2008/11/07 about the complicity of Johnny's father: "No, Leonard Gosch is not involved in the search for Johnny - at least not with the JG Foundation. He may be looking on his own, but this is unknown.

    His absence has caused some to question if he may have had some involvement with Johnny's abduction. There has been evidence uncovered involving some unsavory financial dealings involving him (post-abduction) and some have speculated that he may have accrued debts to people who demanded Johnny as payment. Again, this is just speculation by some and is not supported by the JG Foundation. My observation is that Noreen seems open to investigating any possible links between the abduction and Leonard, but compelling evidence has yet to be found.

    There is the story of how Leonard was bringing a woman with him to various events involved with the investigations and introducing her as Noreen, when she was not Noreen at all. Also, Leonard is claimed to have sabotaged a police stakeout at a farmhouse that was allegedly used to hold Johnny at one point. If true, these stories do indicate a less than helpful track record of Leonard's participation in the search and could explain why his presence is not missed.

    One recent poster on a different site has claimed that Leonard actually appeared in a child porn film created in the 1970's. This film is among a series of films created prior to the law making the production or possesion of these films illegal (yes, there was a time when no laws existed banning such films). These films were created by a company that still exists and are well-known in child porn circles. An effort is being made to either confirm or deny this claim since it is so specific and should be easy to verify by LE with access to these films." (almost certainly refers to Darron and his claims about Lyric-DOM and Color Climax Corporation)
  • Des Moines Register, "After 10 years, time fails to heal family's wounds", 1992/08/30: 1b, 4b, 4b alternate - says Johnny's father about his son: "We'd love to have him back, but what condition he would be in is probably undesirable"; WDM police Lt. Gerry Scott says they only interviewed Bonacci's family and relied on the FBI claiming Bonacci was not credible, and did not bother talking to him; says Bonacci was due to be released in October 1992; quotes Sam Soda in support of the sex ring theory
  • In the "Vanished with Beth Holloway" episode (link above; see part 1), John Gosch Sr. says he believed only about 40% of Bonacci's account was true and 60% was made-up, going on to claim that Noreen believed Bonacci wholeheartedly but he did not. That's not what Gosch said back in 1992 as noted in the Omaha World-Herald article on April 17, 1992 titled "Iowan Believes DeCamp Book" (link above). He stated outright "Paul told my wife and I things that we've never told anybody" and endorsed John DeCamp's claim of a cover-up in the Franklin case.
  • 2009 Franklin Files comment by LUKE J: "Concerning LJG... he has not been formally charged with a crime so the same rules apply... he could definitely go after her legally if she were to try to implicate him in any way. Those who criticize her for being cautious ought to have walked in her shoes or have had to shell out money to hire an attorney because some crack pot decided to sue."
  • 2013 Franklin Files comment by Noreen stressing a lack of solid proof against her ex-husband: "I have no information regarding Johnny's father."

"Charlie" info

  • "Justice for Johnny Gosch" website list of suspects: 2008/11/03 copy (only says "Charlie"), 2008/12/04 copy (names Charles A. Kerr), 2012/02/22 copy (includes book quotes)
  • Sioux City Journal, Obituary for Charles A. Kerr, 2004/03/27
  • From the "Justice for Johnny Gosch" link above: "Charles "Charlie" A. Kerr "The harborer of kidnapped children" Owned the farm near Sioux City, Iowa, where Johnny was held for 2 weeks after the kidnapping The gracious host of the safe house where Johnny was taken. Paid to provide a place where Johnny could be held for 2 weeks to be drugged, molested, tortured, filmed, and photographed. A local prosecutor was about to arrest Charlie until John Gosch, Johnny's father, showed up and ruined critical surveillance of the farm."
  • 2008 Franklin Files post discussing the Kerr farm property (archive)
  • 2008 Franklin Files post discussing Leonard John Gosch, his "hobby farm", Jimmy Gibson, and the county attorney's surveillance of Charlie Kerr (archive): "Jimmy does command the attention of everyone in the room when he gets going. The more attention he receives, the more of a yarn is spun but there is an area of truth which he did share. The day he and LJG drove to Charlie Kerr's home near Sioux City, Iowa. Noreen had been working with the Country Attorney in Sioux City for months and a surveillance was being done on Charlie Kerr. The CA had called Noreen early one morning to tell her that the police were going to arrest Kerr that day. LJG was at home when the call came, Noreen mentioned it to LJG, thinking she could trust her own husband. LJG left for work, or so she thought, instead he picked up Jimmy somewhere and they drove to Sioux City, where they pulled up to Charlies house. LJG went inside and blew the whole investigation. The CA. called Noreen and was absolutely livid about what transpired. Charlie Kerr had been identified by Bonacci & others. Apparently LJG went there to warn Charlie Kerr. Shortly after LJG left, Kerr came running out of his house with a suit case, got in his truck and took off. No arrest was made and the CA was so angry, he pulled out of the entire investigation. It was a huge break that was sabotaged by LJG."
  • Contemporaneous news stories
    • Sioux City Journal, "Sergeant Bluff man files counterclaim", 1980/10/08: "Robert Rogers of Sergeant Bluff filed a counterclaim in Woodbury County District Court Tuesday seeking $300,000 from Charles A. Kerr of Sergeant Bluff, the estate of Hildegarde Kerr, and Chance Land and Investment Co. [...] The counterclaim says Kerr is an heir to and executor of the estate of Hildegarde Kerr, and that Kerr is an officer and stockholder of Chance."
    • Sioux City Journal, "Farmer faces $500,000 suit", 1981/12/04
    • Sioux City Journal, "LEGAL NOTICE-SALE OF REAL ESTATE IN RE CHANCE LAND & INVESTMENT COMPANY, INC", 1987/03/10: "Additional imformation concerning the sale can be obtained from Charles A. Kerr, President, Chance Land & Investment Company, Inc., and or John Harmelink, 101 Broadway, P.O. Box 18, Yankton, South Dakota 57078, 605665-1001, attorney for Chance Land & Investment Company, Inc."
    • Sioux City Journal, candidate info on Charles A. Kerr, 1988/06/05 - has a photo of him
    • Sioux City Journal, "Sergeant Bluff farmer acquitted of theft", 1989/11/09: "Sergeant Bluff farmer Charles A. Kerr has been cleared of criminal charges that he sold levied corn. Kerr, 60, was acquitted Tuesday by a Woodbury County District Court jury of first-degree theft charges Prosecutors had alleged that, on Dec. 12, 1988, he sold more than $12,000 in corn that had been levied upon by the sheriff's department and secured by First National Bank."
    • Sioux City Journal, "JOHNNY GOSCH: The Siouxland Connection", 1993/05/06: "The disappearance of Johnny Gosch is one of the most heinous crimes In Iowa's history. Tonight at 10 Greg Lund begins a two part series on the trail that brought Gosch to Sioux City and why much of the investigation continues to focus on Woodbury County."
    • Sioux City Journal, "Arrest in Gosch case not true" by Kate Thompson, 1993/05/15 - indicates that there were rumors of a Gosch abduction suspect in the Sioux City area being arrested in 1993: "Reports of a Siouxland arrest — or any arrest — in the Johnny Gosch case are false, authorities said Friday. Johnny Gosch, a 12-year-old West Des Moines boy, was kidnapped Sept. 5, 1982, while delivering the Des Moines Register. After more than a decade, the case has received national media attention but remains unsolved. Apparently, a solution is not near, authorities said. "The FBI has not made an arrest in this case and we have no basis for suggesting we will be making an arrest in this case," said John Campbell, assistant special agent in charge of the Omaha office of the FBI. He said no real strong evidence has turned up recently, even with all of the publicity the case has received."
  • Law enforcement documents
    • Woodbury County Attorney's Office
    • Woodbury County Sheriff's Office
      • S-1993-010479
      • S-1993-010683 - on 1993/06/06 Kerr reported harassment to the WCSO; lived at 1898 Old Hwy #141 in Sgt. Bluff or Bronson
    • Sioux City Police Department (archive) - checked for the period of 1950-1993, inclusive
      • No records retained farther back than 1971
      • No records on Kerr between 1971 and 1979, inclusive
      • 89-6178 - car accident in which Kerr was the victim
      • 90-2243 - records check
      • 90-36423 - molestation by Kerr of his 5-year-old daughter, which had happened repeatedly in the past; confirms living in a trailer by 1989
      • No records on Kerr between 1991 and 1993, inclusive
  • Court records in Iowa trial courts
    • 03971 EQCV114001: KERR, CHARLES VS KERR, RONALD ET AL, created 01/02/1997, disposition BY TRIAL TO COURT 07/14/1997, microfilm A262-2234
    • 03971 ESPR049371: KERR, CHARLES A, created 04/23/2004, disposition CLOSED 03/14/2006
    • 03971 SCCV073785: KERR, CHARLES A VS KERR, RON, created 05/01/1998, disposition GUILTY PLEA/DEFAULT 06/01/1998
    • 03971 SCCV078932: CHANCE LAND & INVESTMENT CO INC, VS FIRSTAR BANK NA, created 08/03/1999, disposition DISMISSED 09/14/1999
    • 03971 STP367364: STATE OF IOWA vs KERR, CHARLES ALEXANDER, charge FAIL TO MAINTAIN SAFETY BELTS, created 07/18/1994, disposition VIOLATIONS HANDLED BY CLERK 08/02/1994
    • 03971 STWC021280: STATE OF IOWA vs KERR, CHARLES ALEXANDER, charge FAIL TO OBEY STOP OR YIELD SIGN WC021280, created 07/01/2003, disposition VIOLATIONS HANDLED BY CLERK 07/02/2003
    • 03971SCNTDO267031: CITY OF SIOUX CITY vs KERR, CHARLES ALEXANDER, charge FAIL TO STOP ASSURED CLEAR DISTANCE DO267031, created 12/21/1999, disposition GUILTY PLEA/DEFAULT 02/29/2000
    • 03971SCSTSC38B3: CITY OF SIOUX CITY VS KERR, CHARLES A, charge FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY SC38B3, created 12/05/2002, disposition VIOLATIONS HANDLED BY CLERK 12/06/2002
  • Family tree records for Charles Alexander Kerr - new Sergeant Bluff IA property in December 1992; another new Sgt. Bluff IA property from April 1993 to November 2000
  • Stream-of-consciousness blog post by an apparent abused child (dizzydazze) who mentions Kerr, Emilio, and Johnny Gosch
  • Jacob Wetterling connection?

Ranch in Colorado

Law enforcement

  • Orval Cooney biography
    • Des Moines Tribune, "Policemen speak out against W.D.M. chief", 1982/02/17: "In lengthy interviews with the Des Moines Tribune, 18 police employees, including 14 of 20 patrol officers, described the problems they have had since Cooney became chief six years ago. Ten of them agreed to the use of their names even though they say they fear for their jobs. They say they took their complaints to Mayor George Mills and the city council, but got nowhere. Their allegations go far beyond the normal gripes of underlings against superiors and in many cases were supported by outside sources. They allege that Cooney has beaten WJD a handcuffed prisoner, compromised a burglary investigation implicating one of his sons and threatened and harassed his own officers. They say they have smelled alcohol on his breath when he was on the street at night checking up on them and that they've seen beer cans in the vehicle he uses. Cooney's men describe the 49-year-old ex-Marine as a vengeful commander who ignores his own rules, encourages officers to spy on one another and scoffs at their union contract. [...] In a separate interview Tuesday, Mayor George Mills said that Cooney has the support of the city council [...]"
    • Des Moines Tribune, "Cooney, W.D.M. officers both win at council session", 1982/03/02
    • Des Moines Tribune, "Police probe continues in W.D.M.", 1982/04/09
    • Des Moines Register, "W.D.M. chief keeps his job", 1982/07/13 (pages 5 OCR) - the report by Charles McManigal, who was hired by the city council to investigate the complaints against Cooney, cleared him of most wrongdoing but acknowledged "serious administrative problems and deficiencies that exist and need to be corrected"; the 10 officers who spoke out against Cooney under their own names had "letters of reprimand" placed in their personnel files
    • Des Moines Register, "Cooney lawyer sees mitigating circumstances", 1982/09/11: pages 1, 3 - it appears that Chief Cooney helped keep his son Alan Cooney appraised of a burglary investigation in which his son was the suspect
    • Des Moines Register, "Anger flares as Gosch hunt drags", 1983/01/02
    • Des Moines Register, "Panel to review tickets dismissed by Cooney", 1983/02/15
    • Des Moines Register, "Cooney takes medical leave for heart tests", 1983/03/08
    • Des Moines Register, "Cooney 'fine' after surgery", 1983/03/17
    • Des Moines Register, "Cooney is granted medical retirement", 1983/06/01
    • Des Moines Register, "W.D.M.'s Cooney to be hired as 'extra help' for Polk County attorney", 1983/07/26
    • Des Moines Register, "Carson gets police post in W.D.M.", 1983/08/16
    • Des Moines Register, "Expenses for travel released", 1984/01/18: "Former Police Chief Orval Cooney received a $2,400 travel allowance. He was the city's highest paid employee, at $41,723 annually."
    • Des Moines Register, "FBI agent warns Martins of emotional roller coaster", 1984/09/02: "No FBI agents or local policemen will comment on the case except in broad generalities, but they have said the charges of police incompetence are exaggerated or untrue. Orval Cooney, the former West Des Moines police chief who initially handled the case, was tape-recorded without his knowledge by a TV crew. He said of the Gosches: "Yeah, I think they are ignorant. I think they are downright . . . stupid. Uh, but I'm not going to say that on tape, but you can tell them I said that." The Gosches respond in kind. Noreen refers to him as "a sawed-off stupid idiot." John Gosch says, "We drive by his house every now and then to let him know we are still alive." The Gosches' primary complaint is that police initially treated Johnny's disappearance as that of a runaway, despite a number of clues pointing to an abduction."
    • Des Moines Register, "Ex-W.D.M. police chief admits theft from Target", 1987/03/18: "Former West Des Moines Police Chief Orval Dean Cooney was charged with shoplifting at a Des Moines Target store last month, court records show. [...] Court records show Cooney was charged Feb. 17 with stealing two blank videotapes worth $6.99 each, two switch plates worth $3.99 each and two packages of screw hooks each worth 79 cents from the Target store at 2309 Euclid Ave. He appeared two days later before Associate District Judge Louis Anania where he pleaded guilty and was fined $25 plus court costs for a total of $48.75. Polk County Attorney James Smith said Tuesday that the maximum penalty for fifth-degree theft is 30 days in jail and a $100 fine. Cooney retired from the chief's job in June 1983 following open-heart surgery that left him unable to work. He currently draws a pension from the city's pension fund, city officials said."
    • Apparently, in an interview with Omaha radio station KCRO on 2004/01/16, Noreen said that former West Des Moines mayor George Mills revealed that police chief Cooney attended pedophilic parties in Omaha (verification: Charlene Fassa, "Noreen Gosch Speaks About - Jeff Gannon, Johnny Gosch And The Attempted Theft Of Her Book 'Why Johnny Can't Come Home'", 2005/08/18)
    • 2008 Franklin Files post by FreeJohnnyGosch claims that Cooney's replacement as chief came from the Omaha Police Department: "IS IT A COINCIDENCE ???? A few years ago one of the WDMPD Detectives gave information concerning Johnny's case. He said that " After the new police chief came to the station in West Des Moines, he had a meeting with all of the detectives. During the meeting he told them " they were not allowed to help Noreen try to solve Johnny's case." He added " he didn't care if Noreen ran out of money, moved out of town or died or which came first". The question was asked by Noreen " why are you telling us this"? The answer from the detective "you are a smart lady, you have figured out most of what happened to Johnny but you need to know what you are up against, they do not want this case to go any farther". The police chief came from the Omaha Police Department... does anyone think that is a coincidence? I do not. Is it just possible that this police chief was indeed placed there to "watch over Johnny's case". They have done nothing to help in years and years. If Johnny didn't have his mother working this case he would have had NO ONE. The police admitted in a Des Moines Register Article on 9/5/2007 that they did not ever investigate the origin of the photographs which surfaced of Johnny. Now that says a lot doesn't it? The former Mayor of West Des Moines had a visit with Noreen before he died and shared information with Noreen concerning the "parties in Omaha with the young boys and those who attended the gatherings." He also gave information about the former police chief Orval Cooney and his friends in Omaha. Oddly enough a short time after sharing this information, he died."
    • 2008 Franklin Files post by Gingerbread Man offers a theory on Cooney's alleged shoplifting: "Police Chief Orval Cooney headed the investigation into Johnny's kidnapping. It was botched to the point that many felt that it could only have been deliberate. Later, he was accused by some to be involved in the pedophile ring that was responsible for Johnny's abduction. Eventually, when Noreen threatened to sue the West Des Moines Police Department, he took an early retirement. One final bizarre chapter to this story was that he was later arrested for shoplifting. There are two questions that I cannot shake from my head. The first is; why was he shoplifting. The second question, I will get back to. I would imagine that people steal things that they could afford to buy for a myriad of reasons. One might be because they do not want anyone to know that they have something, like the teenage girl who steals a pregnancy test, rather than be seen buying it. Another example would be someone who does not want to take any chance of something being traced back to them, like a bank robber who uses a stolen car, in case it is seen. Although I believe that Cooney was involved in the ring that took Johnny, I cannot prove it. This much I do know; those who took Johnny were into bondage and domination. Boys were restrained, and photographed. Many have reported that films were also made. I have spent the better part of two years studying pictures of boys mercilessly tied up and photographed. Maybe I am jaded by now, but one day the second question popped into my head from out of nowhere. What was Police Chief Cooney going to do with the ceiling hooks and video tapes that he stole? I could be wrong, and I hope that I am, but I cannot shake the suspicion that he intended to make some sort of a bondage video using those hooks to hang, or restrain some defenseless child in some secluded barn somewhere. There are a thousand other possibilities. Maybe he had some tools to hang in his shed, or wanted to tape his favorite program. But why steal them? This might just be a waste of conjecture, but in light of all that I have seen, the objects that he took just have an ominous guise to me."
    • CNN, "Iowa paper boy vanished on route in 1982", 2009/11/09: "Gosch said police made critical mistakes in the first hours of the investigation. The police chief at the time, Orval Cooney, stepped onto a park table with a bullhorn and told a group of searchers to stop looking for the boy because he was just a runaway, she charged. Cooney is deceased and [West Des Moines Police Department Lt. Cameron] Coppess could not verify the bullhorn incident."
    • 2013 Franklin Files post by LUKE J on Cooney's resignation: "Johnny was originally classified as a runaway by Orval Cooney, the police chief. It took Noreen ... 4 months to get that classification changed. In the process she threatened to sue the City of WDM for 20 million dollars naming the Police Chief as negligent. They had an emergency/ unpublished meeting of the City Council in the basement of the police dept. to decide what to do. The next morning big headlines in the paper. "Orval Cooney resigns from WDMPD due to stress on the Gosch Case". The city council thought it best to get him out of office. Three months afterward, Orval was arrested for shoplifting at Target ... he tried to steal "several blank video tapes, molly screws and rope". Now was he hanging plants and then taking a video of this event? Knowing what we do now, the items he tried to steal are significant. By stealing them, there would be no physical record such as a sales receipt of a purchase. Later, when Noreen was preparing to serve him in a Civil action for negligence, his heart attacked him and he "croaked". That is pretty much the timeline of those events. This all took place between 1982 and the end of 1983."
    • Paul Mokrzycki, "Lost in the Heartland: Childhood, Region, and Iowa’s Missing Paperboys", 2015 winter: "The authorities had taken to ignoring Noreen as she sharpened her attacks against them. As the Gosches turned to private investigators and publicly castigated law enforcement efforts, West Des Moines police chief Orval Cooney fired back, on the record, in early 1983. “I really don’t give a damn what Noreen Gosch has to say. I really don’t give a damn what she thinks. I’m interested in the boy [Johnny] and what we can do to find him. I’m kind of sick of her.” The tensions spilled over into a West Des Moines city council meeting, during which attorneys representing the Gosches and Polk County aired their respective grievances. After the hearing, both sides took the conversation outside. In the bitter January cold, Noreen Gosch engaged in a heated exchange with the Polk County attorney. As the lawyer gesticulated, Noreen reprimanded him, “Don’t shake your finger at me!” In letters to elected officials and in other writings Noreen later denounced Cooney as an incompetent alcoholic, calling him, among other things, a “known drunk” and the “town drunk.”"
    • Willy Evans and Zach, "The Disappearance Of Johnny Gosch- Part One- MysteriYES", 2017/01/04: "Noreen had several negative interactions with the West Des Moines Police during the first days, weeks, and months after Johnny’s disappearance, which sometimes ended with officers yelling at her or with her throwing hot coffee at them. She had a particularly contentious relationship with Orval Cooney, who once stated in a newspaper interview that, “I don’t really give a damn about what Noreen Gosch has to say. I really don’t give a damn what she thinks.” Cooney, who died in 2003, didn’t last long in office after the disappearance of Johnny Gosch. He resigned in 1983, amid allegations of fixing tickets for friends and family, racial prejudice that affected his work performance, working while intoxicated, and interfering with an investigation against his son."
  • Gerald Shanahan background
  • Herb Hawkins a.k.a. Herbert H. Hawkins Jr. a.k.a. Herbert Hawkins Jr. biography
    • Des Moines Register, "FBI papers detail college spying in Iowa", 1982/03/07 (pages 1, 4): ""I think our present director has made tremendous steps in trying to get the agents in the FBI to understand that you not only have to be right, you have to look right and that they are not to be out on witch hunts," said Herb Hawkins, chief of the FBI's Omaha field office, which oversees Iowa. "Just because somebody doesn't agree with the government or society . . . doesn't give anyone the right to investigate them," Hawkins said."
    • Des Moines Register, "FBI agent is a man of action, not words", 1982/09/09: "[...] as special agent in charge of the Omaha office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose domain includes all of Nebraska and Iowa and stretches 700 miles from Scottsbluff to Keokuk, [...]"

Early investigation

  • Early investigation articles (some archived on Justice for Johnny Gosch, many now missing)
    • According to a comment on Reddit: "A neighbor heard Johnny pass by his house with his wagon at exactly 5:55AM. The neighbor remembered the exact time because he had played poker the previous night and he was thinking about how he could have used the three fives."
    • Des Moines Register, "Police hunt for missing W.D.M. boy", 1982/09/06: pages 1, 3 (also called "Youth's wagon found, still full of papers") - a 15-year-old paperboy and friend of Johnny says they were both picking up papers at 42nd and Ashworth, and a man in a blue car drove by several times asking for directions; the boy knew Johnny had his dog with him; minutes later, the boy spotted Johnny near 42nd and Marcourt talking to a man in a baseball cap; a customer telephoned the Gosch home at 7:45 AM asking where their paper was; John Gosch Sr. noticed that his son's room was empty and the dog had come home; after searching, they found Johnny's wagon full of papers and abandoned; Leonard Gosch delivered his son's papers and only then phoned the police at 8:30 AM; initial report said Johnny was wearing shorts and a T-shirt
    • Des Moines Register, "1,000 volunteers search for missing W.D.M. boy", 1982/09/07: pages 1, 4 (also called "Nothing is ruled out so far in hunt for missing boy, 12") - Johnny picked up papers at 42nd and Ashworth, where he met a 15-year-old paperboy there as well, and the two parted to deliver their papers; the 15-year-old boy told his mother he subsequently witnessed Johnny talking to a man at 42nd and Marcourt; mentions a 10-year-old paperboy who was bothered in the summer of 1982 by a man driving a van
    • The Herald (Crystal Lake IL), "Search for lost newspaper carrier widened", 1982/09/08 - says Johnny's dog returned home without him; mentions a 10-year-old paperboy who was bothered in the summer of 1982 by a man driving a van
    • Oelwein Daily Register, "Missing Boy", 1982/09/22
    • Des Moines Register, "Massive search for car seen when Gosch vanished", 1982/10/01 - at 5:45 AM, an early riser (P.J. Smith) heard a car door slam, looked out his window, and saw a silver Ford Fairmont with large black stripes on the sides; Johnny's wagon was found at 42nd and Marcourt full of papers with the bundle cut; many witnesses, including paper carriers and residents, saw a blue over blue car with Warren County IA plates whose driver stopped to ask Johnny for directions; DCI agents had P.J. Smith identify the car color in early morning street lighting conditions
    • Des Moines Register, "Two D.M. men charged in teen sex abuse case", 1982/10/07: pages 1, 9 - is this the Omaha child prostitution network story mentioned by Noreen? involves men in Lincoln, not Omaha, but otherwise similar
    • Quad-City Times, "Search gets expensive", 1982/10/09
    • Quad-City Times, "West DM police pick up detectives hired by Gosches", 1982/10/20 - detectives were Dennis Whelan and Jeff Parker of Omaha
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch case ‘mystery man’ described", 1982/10/26 - a dark blue car with Warren County IA plates stopped near Ashworth and 39th; another paperboy (Mike Seskis?) and the parent (John Rossi) of a third paperboy saw this car as well as its driver; the man asked for directions to 86th Street in Clive; after compiling witness descriptions, police described him as mid-30s, 200 pounds, dark hair, deep-set eyes, and a dark complexion; interior of the man's car was described as "plush"; mentions the silver Ford Fairmont with a black stripe along the side or bottom, seen by the witness (P.J. Smith) rolling through the stop sign and turning left onto 42nd Street
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosches: Police not cooperating with us", 1982/11/09 (pages 9 OCR) - corroborates the encounter with a police officer at a football game on September 3, 1982: "Parents of John Gosch, the missing West Des Moines newspaper carrier, say that two days before their son disappeared he spent some time talking to a police officer at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines. In fact, on the way home that night young John Gosch said he might want to become a police officer when he grew up, the parents say. The Gosches say the man who talked to their son Sept. 3 resembles a man seen talking to their son the morning he disappeared. But they say West Des Moines police have not cooperated in their efforts to identify the officer. The missing boy's parents, John and Noreen Gosch, said in a letter to The Des Moines Register: "We have been fighting, trying to get the police to get the names of the men that were on duty that night and they said they couldn't that it wasn't that important. Well, it is important because this man bears a resemblance to the composite sketch of the last person John Gosch was seen talking to. West Des Moines Police Chief Orval Cooney said he did not know the Gosches had been having a problem getting to see photos of the men. "There were a total of 10 officers working the game that night," said Cooney. "They have seen all but two of them and we are going to get Polaroids of those two." Relations between the Gosches and police have been strained at times during the investigation. The Gosches continued their criticism of the police in the letter, saying the police investigation of their son's disappearance Sept. 5 as he prepared to deliver his newspapers leaves "a lot to be desired." West Des Moines police "still do not have a set of fingerprints of our son for identification purposes," says the letter. "Nor hair samples etc. Our private detective did this immediately when he came on the case. "Over half of our son's customers there on the paper route were never interviewed. Our private detective did this immediately." Noreen Gosch added that police still have not released the composite drawing of the man who was seen talking to young John the morning he disappeared. Cooney said police had gone through the boy's room, but he said he didn't know if fingerprints had been lifted. "At this point fingerprints are not important to the investigation," the chief said. He added that he did not know [...] Police have differing sketches from two witnesses of the man last seen with the boy. He said police have not released the sketches because, "if it's inaccurate, I hate like heck to release it." Asked how he responded to the criticism, Cooney said, "I'd probably be saying and doing just what they are if I were them. I'd want to keep the pressure on, too. But we're doing everything we can." Gerald Shanahan, director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said the Gosches' criticism of the West Des Moines police "is unfortunate. They are working hard on this case. They are as frustrated as anybody" about the lack of [...]"
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch talk with 'weird' man told", 1982/11/25 (pages 1m, 1m image, 6m, 6m image) - describes the release of two sketches made by John Jacobs
    • Miami Herald, "PLIGHT OF MISSING CHILDREN, FAMILIES CONTINUES TO GAIN NATIONAL ATTENTION", 1982/11/29 - "Johnny's wagon, still piled with newspapers, was found two blocks from his home in a neighborhood everybody thought was safe. Based on witnesses' accounts, his mother thinks Johnny was forced into a stranger's car at 6 a.m., 12 minutes after he left home on Sept. 5. [...] The FBI says abductions should be handled initially by local police. The agency said it would not get involved in parental abductions unless three conditions were met: a felony warrant was out, the parent had crossed state lines and there was evidence the child was in danger. Local police policies vary. Often, they will not get involved if it appears the child has run away or been abducted by a parent. Mrs. Gosch said she believes police in West Des Moines have not pursued her son's case vigorously. The Gosches have hired private detectives at $200 a day and have mailed handbills to law enforcement agencies around the nation. [...] Gerald Shanahan, director of Iowa's Division of Criminal Investigation, said police had interviewed 371 people and checked 5,000 cars but had come up empty-handed in their search for Johnny."
    • Oelwein Daily Register, "Gosch Parent Says Suspect Located", 1982/12/23
    • Des Moines Register, "The trail of John Gosch getting colder", 1983/02/05 (pages 4t OCR) - notes that police found three yellow newspaper bags but none of them were Johnny's
    • West Des Moines Express, "Missing... Six Months Later", 1983/03/03: pages ..., 13 - mentions the hiring of "Dennis Whelan of Council Bluffs - Omaha"
    • Des Moines Register, "Six months of dead ends in Johnny Gosch search", 1983/03/06 (pages 1b 1b OCR, 8b 8b image 8b OCR) - Johnny cut across his neighbor's yard to reach Ashworth Road, and walked to the paper drop at 42nd and Ashworth; a witness (John Rossi) who picked up papers a little later saw a blue car at the corner with its lights off, and its driver on the passenger side talking to Johnny; others carriers reported that the car had been in the area for 30 minutes and its driver asked Johnny for directions before he reached the paper drop; Noreen and John reported that Johnny told another paperboy "That man is really weird"; the witness, who says he tried to give the man directions after Johnny left, described him as "high", wide awake with beady eyes, mid-40s, and with a mustache; he saw the man look "disgusted, a bit miffed", slide across the seat, start the car, and turn on the lights; the car had a Warren County IA license plate, some numbers of which the witness remembered; another witness (one of four who the police talked to) saw a man come out of the shadows at 42nd Street near the paper drop and talk to Johnny; when Johnny parked his wagon at 42nd and Marcourt, which he usually did before delivering to Francrest Circle, other carriers saw Johnny sitting in his wagon (this is attributed by Noreen to the Boesen brothers); includes a map with Ashworth Road, 42nd Street, and Marcourt Lane, marking all the events of that morning
    • The Courier (Waterloo IA), "Speakers: Porn groups recruit children in lowa", 1983/03/07: "National pornography groups have been recruiting children in Iowa and Nebraska, a Council Bluffs audience was told Sunday. And a private detective searching for missing West Des Moines paper boy Johhny Gosch said he believes the boy is one of their victims. The groups seek children for sexual escapades, for child pornography films and for sale to molesters, according to Beverly Bequette, mother of a boy held by a convicted sex offender for 18 months, and Dennis Whelan, Omaha private detective. Child pomographers have been linked to incidents in Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Carter Lake, Omaha, Neb., and Lincoln, Neb., Mrs. Bequette and Whelan said."
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch family has been showered with kindness — and cruelty", 1983/03/27 - discusses the life histories of Noreen and her husband: "John and Noreen Gosch, both 39, met in the Quad-Cities and married in 1967. Noreen said John is one of 14 children "He never had anything given to him, either." Like Noreen, John also grew up on a farm, near Auburn in western Iowa. He attended barber school and served a hitch in the Marine Corps. For five years they lived in Eldridge, where Noreen babysat and sold bakery goods to earn extra cash. A job transfer took them to Minnesota; they arrived in the Des Moines area eight years ago. John is sales director for Carpenter Sales Inc., a Bondurant fertilizer company. Noreen works as a district secretary for Economics Laboratory Inc. and teaches yoga classes in West Des Moines. The Gosches cite statistics showing that 90 percent of the parents of missing children divorce because of the strain on the marriage, or end up on alcohol or drugs to ease the pain. "We have decided to come out of this stronger," John Gosch said during an interview in the front room of their modern, two-story home at 1004 Forty-fifth St. in West Des Moines"; says "It was common for John Gosch to accompany his son on the Sunday paper route to help with the heavier load, but he didn't on that morning last September"; refers to police suspecting Johnny as a runaway: "One of the Gosches' recurring complaints about West Des Moines police and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation arises from the probers' insistence from the beginning that Johnny might be a runaway. John Gosch said that just a week ago, a police officer asked him if Johnny might have cashed in a life insurance policy and used the money to leave home. "Johnny didn't even know he had one," Gosch said."
    • unknown publisher, "Gosch sighting", 1983/03/31 (see 2008 Websleuths post) - says that former child abduction victim Todd Bequette saw Johnny at ShowBiz Pizza in Arlington TX, and four employees there confirmed his story
    • The Dispatch (Moline IL), "Detective predicts success", 1983/04/11 - quotes Dennis Whelan
    • Des Moines Register, "Year of agony for Gosches, lone witness", 1983/09/04: pages 1, 7 (also called "Police get leads almost daily in Gosch search") - under hypnosis, John Rossi (a lawyer for Master Builders of Iowa) revealed that the blue car's license plate was from Warren County IA and could supply some of the plate numbers; the police, who interviewed Rossi and three paperboys who were at 42nd and Ashworth, reported that the blue car intercepted Johnny as he approached the paper drop at the corner, talked to him briefly, made a U-turn in the middle of the street on Ashworth, and drove to the corner, where he asked Johnny for directions to 86th Street; Rossi, who says he was just three feet away from the man, described him as "high" and "miffed"; one paperboy said Johnny called the man "weird"; according to Rossi, the car left the corner down Ashworth "like a bat out of hell"; Rossi suggested that the silver car seen at 42nd and Marcourt might actually have been the blue car
    • Sioux City Journal, "Year-apart cases are eerily alike", 1983/09/25 - mentions Dennis Whelan working for the Gosches; cites John Rossi as a witness; has Lyle McKinney say that he believes Johnny is still alive
    • unknown publisher, "Threatening call", 1983/12/23 (see 2008 Websleuths post)
    • Des Moines Register, "Airman charged in Omaha-area slayings", 1984/01/13 - mentions suspicion of John Joubert
    • Des Moines Register, "Noreen Gosch reports new sighting of son", 1984/01/29: "Noreen Gosch would not disclose the name of the woman who reported the incident, nor say where the alleged sighting occurred. A private detective from Chicago, Robert Christianson, advised the Gosches not to release the information, she said. [...] The boy's father, John Gosch, said the new information is important, even though the alleged sighting occurred 10 months ago. "It's a positive stroke that he was alive at that point," he said."
    • unknown publisher, "Missing newsboy sighted", 1984/02/24 (see 2008 Websleuths post)
    • unknown publisher, "Burden isn't just emotional for parents of missing boy", 1984/02/24 (see 2008 Websleuths post)
    • Oelwein Daily Register, "Gosch Parents Work To Find Missing Johnny" and "Mrs. Gosch Takes Credit For Fast Police Action", 1984/03/05
    • Eugene Register-Guard, "Detective says solution near in kidnapping", 1984/03/20
    • The Daily Reporter (unknown), "Gosches criticize search efforts", 1984/03/29 - "We had to go through our congressman to get any action at all."
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosches ask FBI to cease looking for son", 1984/05/12 - mentions Herb Hawkins
    • Sioux City Journal, "Gosches want 'bungling' FBI out", 1984/05/12
    • Globe-Gazette (Mason City IA), "FBI to stay on Gosch case despite mother's opposition", 1984/05/12 (pages 1, 2): "Herb Hawkins, special agent in charge of FBI operations in Iowa and Nebraska, said he had not heard of the request until being told of it by a reporter. But he said as far as he was concerned, the investigation would continue. "We have a missing child, the circumstances of which are still a mystery," he said in a telephone interview from his office in Omaha, Neb."
    • "2nd Paperboy Disappears in Des Moines", 1984/08/13 - mentions a green car seen in the area
    • UPI, "Second Des Moines-area paperboy vanishes", 1984/08/13 - based on the quote -- "Martin left his home at 5 a.m. Sunday to deliver the Des Moines Sunday Register. When he failed to return home, his father, Donald Martin, called police at 8:40 a.m., Sgt. Bill Mullins said." -- it can be inferred that either Eugene's manager did not inform his parents that their son was missing or Don Martin did not immediately call the police; authorities were searching for "an old model, 'beat up' green car last seen in the area of the Martin boy's delivery spot at about 5:10 a.m" driven by "a short, white man between 25 and 30 years old with short, brown hair parted down the middle" which appears to rule out Sam Soda
    • UPI, "Reward boosted in disappearance of newsboy", 1984/08/13: "Police issued a bulletin late Monday for a man suspected in the alleged abduction of a 13-year-old paperboy while friends and relatives diligantly searched the missing boy's neighborhood for clues. Authorities said the man -- described as between 30-40 years of age, 5-foot-9 inches tall, clean shaven with a medium build -- reportedly was seen talking to Eugene Martin as the newspaper carrier was preparing to begin his route at 5:30 a.m. Martin was reported missing after he failed to return home from his Sunday morning paper route, becoming the second Des Moines Register carrier to disappear since 1982. The suspect was wearing light blue clothing at the time he was spotted by a neighbor near the corner where the boy's paper bundle had been dropped, said Police Officer Terry Camp -- one of several officers manning a special 24-hour police hotline set up for the case. Authorities said the informant could not supply a description of a vehicle. [...] Knox said the papers dropped at the site had been delivered by by other newspaper employees. [...] Detectives Monday discounted one of their best leads in the case after interviewing the driver of a 'beat up' green car seen near the area Martin disappeared. The man, who had been sought for questioning, voluntarily contacted police when he heard news reports describing his car. Following the interview, Knox said the man is not considered a suspect in the case. He said police have turned their investigation to a 'full-sized brown car' that was seen parked in the area Sunday morning."
    • Des Moines Register, "Man driving to golf course saw boy sitting at corner", 1984/08/13: ""The route manager, Paul Porter, came by and saw papers had been folded with rubber bands and left in the bag, but he thought maybe he'd taken a few and was coming right back," said Martin's father. "About 7:15 a.m. he came back and saw the bag and papers again and then he called me." Donald Martin said, "I commenced looking around the house and then I got dressed and got on my motorcycle and went looking for him with my brother, Ron. We both have motorcycles. We went to the malls, we looked behind schools, all over.""
    • UPI, "FBI looking for 'introvert' suspect", 1984/08/14: "Authorities said they are treating the Martin case as a kidnapping and have issued a nationwide bulletin for a white man described as between 30 and 40 years old, 5-foot-9, clean shaven and with a medium build. [...] An FBI specialist is being flown in from Washington to draw a composite sketch of the man six witnesses saw talking to Martin he disappeared, police said. Six independent witnesses have told police they saw a white male talking to Martin that morning, Des Moines Police Sgt. Bill Mullins told a news conference Tuesday." (where is that sketch?)
    • Iowa City Press-Citizen, "Paper increases reward in case of missing boy", 1984/08/14: "Martin, 13, disappeared Sunday after he left his home at 5 a.m. to deliver the newspaper. A circulation manager noticed his papers had been undelivered and the boy's father alerted authorities at 8:40 a.m. The man seen talking to him was described as white, 5-foot-9-inches to 6-feet tall, clean-shaven with a medium build. He was seen with the youth between 5:15 and 5:45 a.m."
    • UPI, "Nationwide search underway for missing paperboy", 1984/08/15: "Authorities turned their efforts to find a missing paperboy to a wooded area in Warren County today, while officials look for a man described as a loner who six people saw talking to the youth. An FBI specialist was being flown in from Washington to draw a composite sketch of the man, described as a man who may have easily been befriended by 13-year-old Eugene Martin, police said Tuesday. [...] An FBI specialist was called in to draw a composite sketch of the suspect based on the reports. Police said the description of the suspect had improved with more interviews. [...] The suspect is described as a white male between 30 and 40 years old, 5-foot-9, clean shaven and with a medium build. Mullins said there is no reason to believe Martin wanted to leave home."
    • Des Moines Register, "Mystery men not considered suspects, say police", 1984/08/16 - reveals that the blue car in the Gosch case had Warren County IA license plates
    • Iowa-City Press-Citizen, title unknown, 1984/08/17: "But police appeared to have hit a snag Thursday in their efforts to circulate a composite sketch of a man in his 30s who may have been seen with Martin on Sunday morning. The FBI brought an artist to Des Moines to interview witnesses and produce a composite drawing of the man, but Mullins said it was uncertain Thursday that any such sketch would be made. "It's in limbo," he said. "They haven't decided whether to do it." The ability of an artist to create a good likeness depends on a number of technical factors, including making sure that all witnesses are describing the same person, Mullins said. "If you're not going to be able to get a good picture, you're better off not doing one at all," Mullins said."
    • Des Moines Register, "Gene 'didn't run away...his birthday was coming'", 1984/09/02 - says that "Dennis Gregory Whelan, private detective, with offices on the ground floor of an apartment building on the west side of Omaha, Neb., worked on the Johnny Gosch case about eight months before giving it up in exhaustion and frustration"
    • UPI, "Two years and still no trace of Johnny Gosch", 1984/09/03: "In January, a woman reported seeing two men chasing young Gosch down a street in an undisclosed city -- 10 months earlier. 'The boy ran up to the woman and said, 'Please, lady, help me. My name is John David Gosch,'' the investigators said. 'At that point, one of the men grabbed him, twisted his arm behind his back and dragged him away.' Police shrugged it off as a family situation. On Feb. 22, Noreen Gosch said she received three short, late-night telephone calls from her son within a few minutes. She told authorities each call lasted about 40 seconds and the boy sounded 'mixed up, like he was on drugs.' Authorities said the calls were too short to trace. Telephone company officials refused comment. In March, a Texas lawman said investigators were checking out at least a dozen reported sightings of Gosch in the southwest. [...] Authorities initially considered Johnny Gosch a runaway and didn't react very fast. The Gosch family, upset at the pace of the investigation, persuaded the Legislature to require all reports of missing children to be filed immediately with the national crime computer."
    • Courier (Ottumwa IA), "Missing boy seen?", 1984/09/08: "Law enforcement agencies Friday were checking reports from two women in Sioux Falls who said they may have seen one of two missing Iowa newspaper delivery boys Authorities in the South Dakota-Minnesota-Iowa area were alerted to the report, in which the women said they saw what may have been one of the youths, who disappeared last month. [...] The women told authorities they saw a boy in a car with a man, and that the vehicle bore California license plates It s believed the car left Sioux Falls eastbound on Interstate 90."
    • Des Moines Register, "FBI agent fears abductions of boys may be 'Gacy-type'", 1984/09/26 - reveals how in a private meeting, FBI special agent in charge Herb Hawkins indicated that he believed Johnny and Eugene were dead
    • USA Today, "Forget our son? How dare they?" by Noreen Gosch, 1984/10/14: "Johnny Gosch got up as usual at 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 5, 1982, to deliver his Sunday newspapers. On his way to the paper drop, a man in a car stopped him to ask directions. Minutes later, a second man on foot approached Johnny from out of the shadows and walked him down the block. A short while later a car door was heard to slam, and a car was seen running a stop sign."
    • The Courier (unknown), "Missing boy's dad looks for link to sex ring", 1984/10/21
    • Des Moines Register, "Child kidnap-murder rings myth, police say" by Frank Santiago, 1984/12/30 (pages 1b, 5b): "Adding to the suspicion is Noreen Gosch, mother of West Des Moines newspaper carrier Johnny Gosch, who said witnesses saw a "job order" on the seat of a car driven by a man last seen talking to her son. Gosch believes her son, who disappeared Sept. 5, 1982, when he was 12, was kidnapped and sold to pedophiles. Police officials said, however, that witnesses reported seeing something on the car seat but could not positively identify it." - confirms that a manila envelope with a photo and/or kidnapping work order was likely inside the blue Ford Fairmont; later talks about NAMBLA members being told not to answer questions from the FBI about Johnny Gosch; cites Ivan Barickman as saying that he saw a snuff film in a Minneapolis adult bookstore; mentions the existence of catalogs of children
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosches charge W.D.M. police with negligence", 1985/01/20
    • Des Moines Register, "Police 'sitting on leads,' Martins say", 1985/02/09
    • Iowa City Press-Citizen, "Every child is potential victim, Gosches warn", 1985/02/18 - has LJG say that a neighbor heard Johnny pull his wagon at 5:55 AM and remembered those numbers because they would have helped him in a poker game the night before; then LJG goes on to say that neighbors called at 7:15 AM and he knew something was wrong immediately before setting out to look for Johnny and discovering his wagon abandoned
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosches say they've found note from son", 1985/07/11: "At a press conference held in the U.S. Capitol, John and Noreen Gosch said the dollar was found about one month ago by a woman who received it in change at a Sioux City supermarket. The Gosches said they have had the bill analyzed by three handwriting experts and are convinced the signature is genuine. John Gosch, the boy's father, said discovery of the bill has provided "a source of additional hope" that Johnny is still alive." - at the time, LJG considered the dollar bill authentic evidence
    • Des Moines Register, "Parents believe Eugene is still alive, follow every lead on whereabouts", 1985/08/11: "At the supermarket, the Martins spot a man in a car who looks like a police sketch. The drawing was made from descriptions of people who were in the area where the boy disappeared. [...] Six witnesses told police they saw a man near the boy. They described him as 30 to 40 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, medium-build, medium-length hair and clean shaven. Police said the accounts were too vague to look for a suspect."
    • Oelwein Daily Register, "Hell's Angels Boss Denies Gosch Connection", 1985/08/16
    • Des Moines Register, "Well has run dry, Noreen Gosch says", 1985/09/15: "In August, Noreen Gosch announced the family was withdrawing from an active search for Johnny and would proceed only as leads came in. [...] Gosch said, "Have you any idea what it cost to send a detective out on the road for a week? At $30 an hour, it gets very expensive." In the early months of the search, the group hired Omaha private investigator Dennis Whelan. Recently, Investigative Research of Chicago has been employed."
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosches claim they know who took their son", 1986/09/17
    • The Dispatch (Moline IL) (from UPI), "Gosch: Abductors identified", 1986/09/17 - discusses the 1986 press conference where Noreen announced that she knew who kidnapped Johnny: "Noreen Gosch, speaking at a news conference in West Des Moines, said the two men are part of three-man ring that abducted her son from his morning paper route and took him to Houston. Gosch, giving only sketchy information, declined to identify the suspects or reveal how she came about the information. She said the men are from Des Moines and are in their 40s. Gosch said they are part of a child prostitution ring that extends throughout the Midwest and South. Gosch said she has uncovered information her son was used as a prostitute in Houston initially and then was sold to another ring."
    • Lincoln Star, "Legacy of Johnny Gosch lives on", 1987/08/30 - probably refers to the "waiting game" with Sam Soda being watched by the Des Moines police: "Mrs. Gosch said she knows the name and address of a man who was involved. "He is under observation. We'll wait until he makes a mistake," she said. "Someone who would steal one child and then come back and steal another could very well take a third one." Sam Swaim of the DCI declined to say whether there was a suspect."
    • Lincoln Journal Star, "Iowa family finds 'peace' 7 years after son vanishes", 1989/09/04: "The Gosch home is quiet. Noreen Gosch's two children from a previous marriage have left home. Johnny was the couple's only child. She works fun time as office manager for a company that sells cleaning products to institutions. She also operates a small after-hours business selling women's knit clothing and jewelry. John Gosch is employed by a farm chemical company and on weekends tends a 40-acre farm a snort drive from home."
    • Des Moines Register, "Boy's disappearance in '82 haunts mother", 1990/02/07 (pages 2m OCR): "With her son missing for more than seven years, Noreen Gosch said Tuesday she remains haunted by the fear of never knowing what happened to him. "If Johnny is still alive, I want to know. If he's not, if his life has been taken, it would be a comfort to know," she said on the nationally syndicated Joan Rivers Show. "We could then step into what we call the grievance process. We are not permitted that. Yes, I would like a resolution." [...] Gosch said in the television show that she had turned over to investigators a two-page letter she received on Valentine's Day in 1988, purported to be sent by her son. "It had mistakes in typing and spelling. It said, 'I'll never be permitted to return home. They've cut my hair. They've dyed my hair. I look different Please don't ever forget me.' It was signed, 'Love, your son Johnny Gosch.' "We'd never received a piece of evidence like this ever. I fell apart somewhere between the mallbox and the front door and practically drug myself into the house because it was such a shock," she said. Gosch, in an interview after the broadcast, said it wasn't known if the letter was authentic. She said there were details in the letter that indicated the writer had some familiarity with the family. She said she didn't know how the writer could have gotten that information."
  • Undated articles - seen inside the cover of Why Johnny Can't Come Home
  • Shawn Lee Jacobsen / Shawn Jacobsen of Milford IA
  • Dennis Whelan (not "Dennis Whalen") information
    • The News Journal (Wilmington DE), marriages, 1965/09/17: "Announcement is made of the marriage Aug. 28 of Miss Ann Maureen Whelan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Whelan of Ellendale, N.D , to Anthony F. Barbone Jr. of Claymont."
    • His earlier high-profile case was rescuing Todd Bequette, a teenager abducted from Omaha in 1974, after 18 months during which Bequette was held as a sex slave. The connection of his abductor, Terry Roy Holman, to Oklahoma is noteworthy given that Johnny Gosch would be sighted there in 1983, and Noreen Gosch would be solicited to Oklahoma in 1986 as part of an entrapment scheme/mob hit.
    • Des Moines Register, "Two involved in Gosch search are arrested", 1983/02/03
    • The Oklahoman, "Family not told of escape", 1983/07/19 - covers the 1983 escape of Todd's abductor Terry Roy Holman from an Oklahoma City prison; reveals that Todd was abducted in Omaha and moved from state to state before being found in Clarkson WA; mentions how before Holman could be sent to Omaha to face trial for kidnapping, he was returned to an Oklahoma prison on unrelated charges; also says that in 1982, the Douglas County Attorney's Office dropped the kidnapping charges for the stated reason of sparing Todd the trauma of recounting his ordeal, even though Todd said he was willing to testify
    • Indianapolis Star, "Nebraska officials mum on probe into deaths of 2 on survivalists' farm", 1985/08/25: "Samuel Van Pelt, a retired Lancaster County district judge who interviewed the elder Ryan in June while investigating the killing of survivalist farmer Arthur Kirk, said, "I'm sure he (Ryan) convinces the people and children living there that he's a spokesman" for God. Dennis Whelan, an Omaha private investigator who was searching for Cheryl Gibson, Haverkamp's sister, who was found at the Rulo farm in June, said he believed she was brainwashed by a religious cult affiliated with the Posse Comitatus."
    • UPI, "A Denver County grand jury Thursday indicted nine people...", 1987/10/08 - says that Whelan was indicted on kidnapping charges for trying to deprogram a Unification Church member
    • Omaha World-Herald, "Child abduction survivor, after decades, finally found closure", 2013/07/26 - abduction took place in the Old Market area; Holman's other charges in Oklahoma were for molesting two other boys; in 1987, Holman got 30 years to life for shooting a police officer in Kansas
  • 98th Congress 2d Session, "Effect of Pornography on Women and Children. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary", 1984/08/08 (PDF here) - erroneously titled by Noreen as the hearing on "Organized Crime and its Relationship to Kidnapping" or the "Organized Crime Hearings and it’s Relationship to Missing Children"; occurred on August 8, 1984 as she claimed; confirms the presence of Kenneth Lanning, the presence of pedophile books used to order children, and her accompaniment by Paul Bishop; discusses the FBI saying "We have no crime", the 1983 sighting in Oklahoma with the claim that the man resembled his abductor, mentions of other sightings elsewhere (like Texas) with the same man, a NAMBLA newsletter telling members not to cooperate with the FBI about the Gosch abduction
  • George Paul Bishop articles
    • Des Moines Register, "Recent tragedies take toll on parents trying to protect children", 1984/08/19: "Sue Martin said that Paul Bishop, a representative of Children in Distress, based in Springfield, Va., telephoned her Saturday to say that Eugene had been sighted in the Gallup, N.M., area. "He said he had just heard from some lady," she said, and he plans to send private investigators to the New Mexico and Arizona region to search for the boy. However, Daniel Bowman, a spokesman for the Gallup Police Department, said in a telephone interview that he wasn't aware of the report."
    • Des Moines Register, "D.C. man is subpoenaed in Gosch case", 1984/09/08 (pages 3) - also mentions "Sam J. Soda of Des Moines" as a private investigator who involved himself in the Gosch case
    • From p.60 of Why Johnny Can't Come Home: "He told me he was also known as Robert LaVeck."
    • From p.61 of Why Johnny Can't Come Home: "For months we continued to be in daily contact by phone, I would telephone him when there would be developments on the case and to report information supplied by our private investigators."
    • From p.29 of Why Johnny Can't Come Home: "Paul Bishop returned to Des Moines July 31, 1984. It was at this time, he gave me the name of the man who was the "spotter"...in Johnny's kidnapping. Paul explained that a spotter is the person who secures a photo of a victim prior to a kidnapping. [...] When Paul spoke his [Sam Soda's] name, I said "Paul, you need to listen to this tape recording". I played recording of my meeting with Sam Soda. He listened...I then told him of my attempts to share the information with the police department and media. Paul was not shocked at what he heard on the tape and paid a visit to Sam Soda, questioning him concerning the source of the information on a second kidnapping. Sam was not too cooperative, became annoyed with Bishop, asking him to leave his office. There is indication today that these two individuals knew each other prior to this time."
    • Map of the Johnny Gosch kidnapping that Noreen claims was drawn by Paul Bishop
    • WJLA, "Two Charged With Making Teen Porn Video", 2005/02/01 - comment on February 1: "The Richard Evans in the story IS the same teacher from Hayfield that was arrested by Fairfax County police back in 1983/84 (June 27th). As for George Bishop, aka Pappy, aka Paul, I would suspect many more charges to be found against him. Both are a flight risk, especially Bishop. I hope they don't let him get away this time"; comment on February 4: "I can also confirm Mr. Evans is the teacher from Hayfield. It is 79/80 when "Pappy" (George Paul Bishop) and Mr. Evans meet. Bishop was in the Coast Guard at the time, stationed down the street from Hayfield High School. Bishop was arrested between Sept 84 & Sept 85 in Alexandra for having sex with a 12 year old boy. The crime took place at Oak Wood apartments (Duke Street & Van Dorn). He fled to California (San Francisco or San Diego). He was hiding behind a marriage, saying he and his wife (Teresa) could not have children, and being a “big brother” to children of single mothers. He fled California after charges where filed there. Returned to VA, disappeared again, and apparently returned again."
    • Democratic Underground post by Andy Stephenson saying that Noreen positively identified the George Bishop arrested in Virginia: "She has seen it and it is him. No doubt about it."
    • Connection Newspapers, "Child Porn Charges: Three Years in Prison", 2005/08/25: "Mooney revealed that, in 1988, Bishop had two felony convictions in California for "oral copulation with a minor," plus an assault conviction in Fairfax County after "he lifted a 12-year-old paperboy's shirt and kissed his stomach.""
    • Jeff Wells, "Fight the Real Enemy", 2006/10/11: "(And it may be more curious still. A poster on the RI forum links Foley with Bush family favourite Mel Sembler's juvenille mind control enterprise "Straight," and connects Straight to Paul Bishop of the Johnny Gosch snake pit.)"
    • Website of Kelly Matthews, the woman behind the Rigorous Intuition allegations: "Thanks to the wonderful folks who started and worked at Straight Inc., and the Seed, such as Mel Sembler, Mark Foley, Mel Riddile, Paul Bishop and more, my brother is dead today. Yes I blame them completely. Even if my brother was messed up when he went in, they only made him worse, they did NOTHING to help him, he was abused along with thousands of other children. Many who are just coming to terms with it now, some 20+ years later."
    • Fornits thread asking about Paul Bishop being used to locate runaways from Straight-Springfield - the user webdiva (who is Kelly Matthews) replies: "i grew up knowing paul bishop before straight. he was involved w/ straight in more ways then 1. he obviously is very well connected seeing he had enough against him to do 50 years behind bars, and and he'll be out in a year. course there's so much MORE to this story it's ridiculous but u can find it all online. hopefully by the time he's released i can change my name or move the fuck out of the country lol."
    • 2008 Franklin Files thread arguing about Paul Bishop's guilt
    • Websleuths post from 2008/04/13 by Insguru is the same observation made by fa diesis in the Franklin Files thread about Bishop's purported locations: "This may be old information, and i'll apologize in advance if it is, but i just ran a search on Mr. Bishop on a site called "Intelius People Search" and a Paul Bishop of Alexandria, VA is listed. It also lists his prior cities of residence as: West Des Moines, IA; Washington DC; Lincoln, NEB; and Hastings, NEB. I'm assuming this is the same Bishop we are talking about (though they must have his age off by a few years as they still show early 40's and i think he is mid or late 40's). My point is only that he must have had an actual verifiable residence in these places, as i do not think Intelius is going to pick up a motel address. Therefore it seems as though he was at least in those cities/towns long enough to establish residence. Quite a coinsidence that the cities he lived in seem to match up were much of the "action" regarding the study of this case take place. Perhaps he was involved in something more than simply being a "CIA asset." Especially given that he is now serving time for well-documented crimes against children in VA."
    • Uncovering the Johnny Gosch Case, "George Paul Bishop", 2009/01/04 - contains news articles on George Paul Bishop being arrested in Virginia in 2005; has 3 photographs of Bishop with varying facial features; blog seems to be maintained by Franklin Files user sasha
    • 2013 Franklin Files post about a 2010 comment by Kelly concerning Paul Bishop: "Its very common to set someone up like Paul Bishop and arrest him to discredit him, says Rothstein. If Rothstein was implying Paul Bishop was set up he is false. I know Paul personally, I met him when I was a child. He used to send my father child pornography in the mail back in the early 80s. He also worked as a bounty hunter for the notoriously abusive teen rehab Straight Inc. in Virginia and there are several allegations of rape as well as one person who testified to being shown child pornography by Paul, all of this took place in the early 80s. Paul is as guilty and dirty as they come!"
    • Fairfax Underground thread about Straight Inc. during the 1980s: "A kid told a story of being raped by the guy who's home he was sent to in there. A staff guy came out and threatened consequences if anyone said anything. Out of 100 people that heard it NOBODY said anything out of fear. That was the effect of the terror that they ran that place with. The place was a cult. If you expressed a desire to leave then you were in deep shit. If you ran away they would come and get you. They had a private investigator (Paul Bishop) that would track an escaped kid down, until Paul was busted for child porn in 1985. If you disagreed with a staff member you were in deep shit. Independent thinking was greatly discouraged under penalty of beginning your whole 'program' from scratch. They had songs about how great the place was, and you better sing them."
    • Spokeo people search info on Paul Bishop (alias George P Bishop) of Chantilly VA
    • BeenVerified people search info on Paul Bishop of Chantilly VA - formerly in Newbury Park CA and Alexandria VA
    • HomeFacts information on George Paul Bishop as a registered sex offender in Annandale VA - has him at 6'2 and 220 pounds with dark hair and hazel eyes
    • The story of Bishop -- a young man and "street kid" with some documented history working for a US intelligence organization (the Coast Guard) but who claims a much larger role in US intelligence (a CIA asset), and turns out to be a pedophile -- is quite reminiscent of Delmart Vreeland
  • 1985/05/29 testimony to Senate committee led by Chuck Grassley about the disappearance of Johnny Gosch - confirms negligence of police and FBI, including signed statements from Des Moines residents about how police never visited; mentions marital strife and John mistreating his other son; contains Paul Bishop's map of the crime scene later printed in Noreen's book
  • Rigorous Intuition post by a woman critical of John DeCamp (screen name Paloma) who submitted it through Jackie McGauley - says "A taped recording of a CIA Analyst who worked on the Johnny Gosch case is quite interesting. (His name is Paul Bishop) Bishop says that he was asked to get involved because he had some unique qualifications....he is a pedophile. He said that you can't send someone in to infiltrate something like a pedophile ring if they are not a pedophile because they will be expected to have sex with the children, in front of others, and so there is no room for "faking" or pretending"; claims that DeCamp grew up in Totem Town in Minnesota, said "Women are for childbirth, boys are for fun" in Farsi, and admitted the accusation of child abuse was not his 5-year-old daughter in a bathtub but his 14-year-old daughter in a swimming pool, and puts that all together with the claim about Bishop to suggest that DeCamp was able to get involved with the Franklin case because he was a pedophile; in other posts, Paloma says she knows Jim Rothstein, which is likely how she heard the Bishop tape
  • Robert Herman Meier II extortion attempt - 1985
    • 2008 Franklin Files post where Noreen explains what happened in the Meier extortion incident: "You will notice that the author of this article uses the figure $10,000 and then $100,000 as a further promise. Apparently he/she didn't get their "facto's" straight before sitting down to write. I know exactly how much money was wired to Robert Herman Meier II, the reporter/author of the article is does not. There was never any promise to send more money to Meier.
      ___________________________________________
      Robert Herman Meier II contacted us with information about Johnny. He wanted to meet in Kansas City at the airport, so we (a P.I. & myself) drove there to talk with him. Although Meier was from Michigan, his flight arrived from ARIZONA. We went to the coffee shop. During this time he told me how the network operated, how the kids were used and how Hells Angels (some of them) were involved. I bought him a beverage ( it was in a hard plastic cup). He said the money would be a ransom for the return of Johnny.
      We received a prior ransom demand on 10/10/1982 which the police / FBI botched horribly, so I chose not to involve them this time. I told RHM II that I would think about what he was proposing and for him to call me at home on a certain date/time. I did tell him "that if he tried to screw us over, I would get him and he would go to jail."
      He then left on a flight to back to Arizona. After he was out of sight, I scooped up his plastic cup and put it into a "baggie" which I brought for this purpose. On the requested date/time, his phone call came to my home, I taped it, with him giving all the information, demands for the money and where to send it. We discussed it and made the decision to send the money.
      Johnny was supposed to be delivered to a certain location, we had people there on the appointed day. A group of Hells Angels did arrive on their cycles and hung out there approximately one hour then left, but no Johnny. So at that point, I went to the authorities with the tape recording and the info on the money transfer and RHM II' s fingerprints on the glass. I made it very easy for them to catch and prosecute him.
      When the news first broke, RHMII, called the D.M. register and wanted to do an in depth interview with them. The FBI here tried to prevent this from taking place, the DM Register finally took their reporter, Frank Santiago, and hid him in a hotel under another name, where Frank was able to interview Meier by phone. During this interview, which became a full page article, Meier described just how he did this, his motivation etc. He also said that if he hadn't already spent the money, he would return it to me. Too late.....he was prosecuted, convicted and jailed.
      I had to laugh when I read how David is trying to make this look like it was some kind of skeleton in my closet. NOT... it was a chance we took and with the help of our P.I., Dennis Whalen at that time, we tried and it didn't work. BD (Big Deal) You try a lot of things on your own when the cops are not helping and they are part of a cover up. Had it worked, this case would have been resolved long ago and in view of how they messed up the first ransom demand, I wasn't about to let them control this one.
      I wonder if David would have had the presence of mind to "gather finger prints, arrange for a phone call at a certain time so it could be taped and have everything RHM II was planning on tape with his own voice" I highly doubt it, David is too busy criticizing others.

      The one thing RHMII said during his interview with the D.M. Register and in court was "Noreen said if I tried to screw them over, she would get me and I would go to prison .....AND SHE DID GET ME".
      ... Noreen N. Gosch"
  • Oklahoma extortion or contract hit attempt (in Tulsa) - 1986

Sam Soda info

  • Sam Soda articles
    • Des Moines Register, "D.M. won't rehire City Venture", 1984/09/05 (pages 1m, 6m): "Concerning the disappearance of Martin and Gosch, the council heard from Sam J. Soda, a private investigator who has volunteered his time to investigate the Gosch case. Soda said he has formed a committee that will, among other things, take "aggressive steps" to return the youths to their homes or learn what happened to them."
    • Des Moines Register, "D.C. man is subpoenaed in Gosch case", 1984/09/08 (pages 3): "Gosch said Bishop first contacted her in February and was one "of a lot of people who offered assistance," including private investigators in Rhode Island, Missouri, New Mexico and California. "Most of them called after seeing national publicity on Johnny and wanted to help," she said. Among the investigators, she said, is Sam J. Soda of Des Moines. Soda said that he hadn't been subpoenaed and that he knew nothing of a grand jury investigation."
    • Des Moines Register, "Crivaro, Turner meet to discuss pornography", 1984/09/11: "Mayor Pete Crivaro met Monday with Richard Turner, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa,, to discuss the mayor's concerns about pornography, child abduction and parent awareness. Crivaro said Des Moines private investigator Sam Soda also attended the conference at Turner's office. Soda appeared before the City Council Sept. 4 and discussed a need for parents to be aware of a link between child pornography and kidnappings of youths. He said he has formed a committee to take steps to return or learn what happened to missing Des Moines Register carriers Eugene Martin and Johnny Gosch."
    • Des Moines Register, "Sam Soda's 'technique'", 1984/10/01
    • UPI, "Mother raps paperboy sex allegations", 1984/10/16 (also printed as UPI, "Paperboy's mom calls on others to quit", 1984/10/16): "Private investigator Sam Soda of Omaha, Neb. told a news conference Monday an unidentified employee of the Des Moines Register admitted sleeping with up to seven young newspaper carriers and having sexual relations with one of the boys." - why does it say that Sam Soda lived in Omaha rather than Des Moines?
    • Sioux City Journal, "Police probe alleged sexual link between 3 at Register, carriers", 1984/10/16: "Soda said he has been looking into the allegations of sexual activity for about five weeks after receiving a tip from a person he described as an informant. "The employees that this man Implicates are three, that's including himself," Soda said."
    • The Dispatch (Moline IL), "Employee fired; Gosch still upset", 1984/10/16: "Soda videotaped a two-hour interview with Sykora Saturday night. Soda and two others searched Sykora's apartment and found numerous pornographic magazines and films, as well as pictures of the paperboys, which were turned over to investigators. "This is a man who is in a position where he knows all the routes and all the carriers," said Soda, a spokesman for a group called Stolen Children Are Reported Every Day."
    • UPI, "Fired newspaper worker: 'They said don't talk'", 1984/10/16: "Sykora, a former Marine, was interviewed at police headquarters Monday. Police Chief William Moulder said a polygraph test indicated Sykora had no involvement in the disappearances of paperboys Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin. [...] Private investigator Sam Soda Monday gave authorities a two-hour videotape in which Sykora admits he fondled 'almost all the boys' and masturbated a 14-year-old youth. [...] Assistant Polk County Attorney Ron Wheeler said he does not have sufficient evidence to file charges. But Moulder said his department's investigation is continuing and charges may yet be filed. 'In any criminal investigation a confession alone is not enough,' Moulder said. 'We need a victim. We need corroborating evidence. There also is a question here of a statute of limitation. We don't know if this happened five years ago, 10 years ago or yesterday.' Moulder said Sykora gave authorities a list of about 14 children's names. He also said more Register employees may be interviewed. [...] Register legal counsel Barbara Mack said the newspaper advised Sykora of his rights, but did not tell him he couldn't talk to anyone. 'He asked if he had to talk to Sam Soda. We told him, 'No.' He asked, 'Do I have to talk to reporters?' We said, 'No, you don't have to. It's your choice,'' she said. 'There was big confusion on his part whether Soda was with the DCI. We spent a lot of time telling him Sam is not with the (Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation).'"
    • Des Moines Register, "Martin cites tiff with investigator", 1984/10/18 (pages 16): "Meanwhile, Tom Ruxlow, chief of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said agents were checking a report that Soda illegally presented himself as a DCI agent when he interviewed a Des Moines Register adult carrier Soda suspected of fondling some teen-age carriers."
    • Des Moines Register, "Former paper deliverer charged with sexual abuse", 1984/10/19 (pages 5m OCR): "Des Moines warrants of third-degree sexual abuse and lewd and lascivious acts with a child have been filed against Frank Sykora, 37, of 1538 Twenty-third St., a former carrier for The Des Moines Register. Sykora had not been taken into custody by early today, police said. Specific allegations outlined in the warrants were not made available. Private investigator Sam Soda claims that for years Sykora "coerced" young carriers into his apartment and had fondled some of them. Soda said he has had no involvement in the matter since giving the information to police who conducted an independent investigation."
    • UPI, "A former newspaper employee who confessed to having sexual...", 1984/10/19: "A former newspaper employee who confessed to having sexual contact with at least seven of the young carriers he supervised at Iowa's largest newspaper pleaded innocent today to sexual abuse charges. Frank Sykora, 37, Des Moines, turned himself into authorities at 7 a.m. and later pleaded innocent to one charge of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child. [...] Sykora was fired from his job in the Des Moines Register's circulation department Monday when a private investigator released a videotaped confession in which Sykora discussed his relationship with at least seven paperboys. However, Haviland said officials did not rely solely on the two-hour tape made by investigator Sam Soda. He said Thursday's charges were based on information gathered during a police investigation."
    • Des Moines Register, "Soda information not used in filing sex abuse charge on Sykora, prosecutor says", 1984/10/20: "[Ron] Wheeler said the case against 37-year-old Frank Sykora was begun by Des Moines police a month before Investigator Sam Soda revealed be had a videotaped interview that Soda says shows that Sykora had "coerced" youths to his apartment at 1538 Twenty-third St. and had fondled some of them. Soda called a press conference on Monday to say he was giving the information to local authorities for their investigation. But Wheeler said that neither of the boys named in the complaint against Sykora had been pointed out by Soda. Wheeler said there was no evidence in Soda's information that led to the arrest. If it bad contained evidence, Wheeler said, it couldn't have been used in court because it had been "tainted" because of the way Soda solicited answers, he said."
    • Des Moines Register, "Fire of suspicious origin routs apartment dwellers", 1984/11/13: "A fire of suspicious origin routed occupants of a four-unit apartment building at 1538 Twenty-third St. about 11:15 p.m. Monday, authorities said."
    • Des Moines Register, "Ex-newspaper carrier guilty of child abuse", 1985/02/07 (pages 4m OCR): "A former newspaper carrier who used young boys as "runners" to deliver papers pleaded guilty to two charges of child molestation Wednesday in Polk County District Court. Frank Sykora, 37, of 1538 Twenty-third St. pleaded guilty to charges of lascivious acts with a child and third-degree sexual abuse." - yet Sykora does not appear on the Iowa sex offender registry
    • A possible match for Frank Sykora at the Des Moines Register is Frank Steven Sykora: Whitepages info says that he's in his 70s as of 2018, putting his age in the right ballpark, and a 1974 court case about a matter in Des Moines refers to Frank Steven Sykora as a witness
    • Des Moines Register, "Protecting kids", 1984/11/07: "I attended a SCARED (Stolen Children Are Reported Every Day) program in which [private investigator] Sam Soda sot only educates adults in the area of sexual exploitation of our children, but (in my view) more importantly, stresses parental responsibility."
    • Des Moines Register, "'Shocking' child porn lectures halted by Soda", 1985/08/09 (pages 12t OCR) - reveals that Soda was showing child pornography at SCARED conferences; says that Polk County Assistant Attorney Ron Wheeler was advising Soda "on a friendly basis"
    • Des Moines Register, "More background on council hopefuls", 1985/10/09 - mentions Soda as president of Central States Investigators Ltd.
    • Des Moines Register, "Soda claim to war medals false, Marines say", 1985/10/10 (pages 1m PDF 1m OCR)
    • Des Moines Register, "Primary race a costly campaign", 1985/10/11: "His campaign manager is Keith Colwell, a south-side dentist"
    • Des Moines Register, "Says Soda earned medals", 1985/10/14: "As Mr. Sam Soda's campaign manager in his quest for a City Council seat, I was present during all of the 90-minute interrogation. [...] Keith A. Colwell, 1606 Evans, Des Moines"
    • Des Moines Register, "D.M. sets sights on tax inequities, population slide", 1987/01/13 (pages 1m PDF 1m OCR, 3m PDF)
    • Des Moines Register, "D.M. private investigator Soda files for bankruptcy", 1991/02/13
    • Des Moines Register, "BANKRUPTCIES", 1991/02/20: "The following Polk County residents filed schedules of debts and assets between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 as part of bankruptcy proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Des Moines. [...] Central States Investigators Ltd., also known at RAMM Inc., Central States Investigators Inc. and Sam J. Soda Inc., 5906 S W Ninth St., debts $226,187, assets $67,600."
    • Des Moines Register, "Unanimous vote retains Knutsen in zoning post", 1991/04/05
    • Des Moines Register, "City attorney says council broke law", 1992/05/16: "Nowadzky recommended that the council, "at its earliest opportunity," either: Appoint a 4th Ward resident to a vacancy caused by Sam Soda's resignation, and reappoint Koontz to Lang's seat. Rescind Koontz's appointment and name someone from Brooks' ward to Lang's seat. In that case, Nowadzky said, Koontz could be appointed to Soda's seat, if the council wished. Under a new appointment procedure, Mayor John "Pat" Dorrian has the right to recommend someone for Soda's seat."
    • Des Moines Register, "Soda freed; was arrested for child endangerment", 1993/02/20 (pages 2a OCR): "Sam Soda, a onetime candidate for the Des Moines City Council, was released Friday from Union County Jail, where he had spent a week after being arrested on a charge of child endangerment. Union County Sheriff John Coulter said Soda was arrested Jan. 1 1 for allegedly beating a teen-age stepson. Counter said that youth and at least one other had been removed from the home of Sam and Debbie Soda and placed in foster care. Iowa Department of Human Services officials, citing confidentiality rules, would not comment on the case. Debbie Soda said she and her husband wouldn't comment. Neither Union County Attorney Tim Kenyon nor Soda's lawyer, Ronald Wheeler of Des Moines, could be reached for comment. Coulter said Soda was arrested after a stepson, believed to be 15, showed up at East Union High School in Afton with injuries. He said school officials contacted the Department of Human Services and an investigation led to the arrest. Soda was released under a pre-trial release program after posting $130 in cash." - note that Ron Wheeler was formerly a Polk County Assistant Attorney who advised Sam Soda during the SCARED controversy over showing child pornography
    • Union County Sheriff's Office, incident report for case 93-00020 and arrest 93-00014, 1993/02 (archive) - report on Sam Soda beating his stepson
  • BizStanding page on Central States Investigators Ltd.
  • People search information about Sam J. Soda from Des Moines IA
  • In an interview with Leonard John Gosch on Episode 21 of the Faded Out podcast @ 22:15, he claims that Sam Soda made contact with a mob figure in Chicago named Johnny Farrell to have him meet with the Gosches in Clive IA
    • Heavy, "Johnny Fratto Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know", 2015/11/05: "His father, Louis Fratto, is a famous Chicago mob member. “[Louis]was not a master criminal. He was no more than a second or third operator from the lower ranks of the Capone mob in Chicago,” according to Crime Magazine. His father also went by “Cockeyed Louie” and “Lew Fratto.” According to a reporter who was familiar with Fratto at the time said to Crime Magazine: The tentacles of Lew Farrell reach into the Des Moines Police Department to promote his friends; into the Sheriff’s Office for a gun permit; into the Prosecutor’s Office to kill a criminal indictment; into the local courts to manipulate decisions on evidence; and into the state political arena."
    • Des Moines Register, obituary for Johnny Lew Fratto-Farrell, 2015/11/28: "He is preceded in death by his parents Carmela and Lou Farrell and brother Frankie Farrell. Johnny was born on Aug 12 1954 in Des Moines, IA . In 1995 he moved to Beverly Hills. He was a producer and a regular guest on the Howard Stern Show."
    • Telegraph, "Dead mobster's last confession: 'Tom Cruise is not gay'", 2017/09/14: "A new biography of the deceased con artist, jewel thief and art forger Johnny Fratto sees the former mobster recall his experiences coaching Cruise for his role as a pool hustler in 1986's The Colour of Money. [...] In the book, Fratto describes an incident in which Cruise entered a Chicago nightclub and immediately put his arms around "two smoking hot party girls from Des Moines". [...] Fratto's biography, Now That I'm Dead, Here's the Real Dirt, written by Mafia historian Matthew Randazzo V, also describes his encounters with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Paris Hilton."
    • Des Moines Register, "Marciano's Body Flown Home", 1969/09/02 (pages 1, 3): "The canvas-covered casket bearing the body of former heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano was loaded aboard a jetliner without ceremony or fanfare Monday for the long trip home to Brockton, Mass. [...] Marciano, who had never been defeated in his illustrious professional ring career, was killed in the crash of a light plane in a farm field south of Newton shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday. Killed in the crash with Marciano were Francis Carmen (Frank) Farrell of Des Moines, 22, of 3600 Fleur drive, son of the late Lew Farrell of Des Moines, and Glenn Eugene Belz, 37, of 5640 Beaver ave., a contractor with offices at 417 Maple st. [...] Frank Farrell was an insurance salesman for Mauro Insurance agency. He was a 1965 graduate of Dowling High School, where he had starred in baseball and basketball. He went to Arizona State University and the University of Iowa before dropping out of school to become head of the family after his father died. He is survived by his mother, Carmella ; three brothers, Thomas, John and William, and a sister, Carmie Lou." - note that Johnny Fratto's brother was identified by the Farrell last name
      • Des Moines Register, "Malsam, Mauro in Insurance Center", 1964/12/09: "Joseph G. Malsam, sr., who has been with the Allstate Insurance Co. here seven years, has been named president of the newly formed Malsam and Mauro Insurance Center, 2125 Indianola road. Frank P. Mauro, sr., formerly with the McPartland Adjustment Co., is vice- president; and Joseph L. Mauro, jr. is secretary-treasurer. The center will handle all lines of insurance."
      • Des Moines Register, "Rasmussen is soundly defeated", 1990/06/06 (pages 1, 6): "Supervisor Clark Rasmussen of West Des Moines was defeated by challenger John Mauro, who said his vote tally showed that he carried 23 of 30 precincts in the southwest Polk County supervisor district. [...] It was a night of prolonged agony for the losers, who suspected they had lost but did not receive official word until well after midnight because of computer problems at the county election office and because so many ballots were contested at the polls. [...] Mauro ran hard against Rasmus-sen in southwest Des Moines, which accounts for about half the district. Mauro was born and reared on the south side and has operated his Mauro Insurance Agency there with his brother Joe for 25 years."
      • Des Moines Register, "CAMPAIGN '90: THE CANDIDATES", 1990/10/23
      • According to his campaign manager, the Mauros were part of the group of south side Italians who backed Sam Soda's 1985 city council run
      • Hartford Courant, "Frank Mauro; Former Republican Official", 1999/05/06: "Frank Mauro, who was a former member of the state central committee for the Republican Party and retired president of the Mauro Insurance Agency in Newington, died Wednesday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Mauro, 70, was a resident of Rocky Hill and had lived in Old Lyme. Mauro, who was a real estate broker in the Hartford area for more than 45 years, was president owner and operator of the Mauro Insurance Agency on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington from 1975 to 1993. Mauro was the former chairman of the board and director of the Colony Savings Bank of Wallingford."
      • Hartford Courant, "MAURO, FRANK MAUROF", 1999/05/07
      • Hartford Courant, "BANK INVESTIGATION UNRAVELS WEB OF FRAUD", 1992/06/28: "One name that appeared among the bank organizers on all five applications was Richard D. Barbieri Sr., the president of Security Savings and Loan. The Ferrari loan and the charter application that rang a bell with regulators were two loose threads. When regulators from two separate agencies tugged on them, they began to unravel what authorities allege was the most intricately woven bank fraud scheme New England has ever seen. A two-year investigation culminated last week when regulators filed civil lawsuits that seek to recover about $35 million from 17 bankers and consultants with ties to Security and four other institutions. Regulators will try to recover as much as $18 million from Barbieri, a central figure in the recent Waterbury municipal corruption case that led to the conviction of former Mayor Joseph Santopietro. Barbieri has admitted to criminal charges that he made payoffs to Waterbury politicians -- including Santopietro -- in exchange for approval of real estate projects. [...] The suits also detail how Barbieri built up the ring of banks -- called the Penta Group -- and used Security as the hub of what Faith Hochberg, deputy regional chief counsel for the OTS, called "the most serious daisy chain we've seen outside of Texas." [...] Also named in the OTS suit and described as a key figure in the network is Anthony DiFabio, a prominent lawyer with ties to Connecticut's top Republican circles who was Security's counsel. DiFabio helped the elder Barbieri organize several of the Penta Group banks and prepare their charter applications, regulators said. DiFabio is a law partner of J. Brian Gaffney, onetime state Republican Party chairman, who also coordinated George Bush's 1988 presidential campaign in Connecticut. [...] The Penta Group was like a wheel with a hub and at least six spokes. Security was the oldest and largest member, and regulators contend it was at the center of most of the fraudulent deals. The spokes were used to funnel tens of millions of dollars through the hub. [...] The regulators also identified Colony Savings Bank of Wallingford and Community Savings Bank of Bristol as members of the Penta Group. Those banks were not named in the federal suits because they are state-chartered and regulated by the state banking department. [...] All of the group except Liberty National and Community Savings have failed."
  • On p.39 of Why Johnny Can't Come Home, there is a rather interesting "KIDNAPPED: JOHN DAVID GOSCH" poster. Right below the sketch of "Emilio" is a sketch that matches perfectly with Sam Soda, whose photo is to the left of the sketch. A single arrow is drawn from the Soda sketch to the "Emilio" sketch, and a double arrow is drawn between the photo and sketch of Soda. The description underneath the "Emilio" sketch is duplicated to appear under the Soda sketch as well. Where this sketch of Sam Soda came from is unknown, since it does not seem to have been publicized anywhere. At the bottom of the page, Noreen writes "This poster was sent anonymously to me and a number of others in Des Moines ... Shortly after Eugene Martin was kidnapped...1984".
  • Allegation by Window_to_your_heart that Sam Soda confessed to a relative of theirs about being in the car when Johnny was kidnapped
  • Omaha connections
    • Note that a 1984 article linked above says that his city of origin was Omaha, not Des Moines
    • Websleuths post by rbeck on 2008/04/10 suggests that Sam Soda was a Franklin scandal perpetrator on Larry King's payroll: "Yes exactly i found the same thing i found where Sam Soda was mentioned in the minutes of a Warren county planning commission meeting in Iowa in 2007 . Sam Soda was definatley involved i wouldnt doubt if he was on Larry Kings payroll. he was constantly seen at The Max a notorious gay bar nightclub Larry King frequented and Sam was the guy who first introduced Rusty nelson to Larry King and got him his job as his photographer ive wondered why Sam wasnt arrested he was probably being protected by the crooked cops in omaha."
  • Ruan Trucking involvement
    • Jim Rothstein initially brought it up, which trickled to people like shergal, and Sam himself confirmed in his interview on Episode 29 of Faded Out that he did perform work for Ruan
    • UPI, "Ruan, Carriers officers sued for 'self-dealing'", 1987/06/12: "It said Ruan, who was chairman of Carriers' board, and board members Larry Miller and Herman Kilpper were negligent in turning over the office of president to Ruan's son, John Ruan III, who was 'unqualified and inexperienced in insurance company management.'"
    • 1994 obituary for Ruan president Larry Miller of Des Moines: "Larry Miller, president of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, passed away Thursday evening, (July 14, 1994), of a heart attack. He was 61 years old. [...] He attended Northern Iowa Area Community College, leaving to enroll in the Navy Cadet Program in 1952. He was He was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant as a United State Marine Corps jet fighter pilot and achieved membership in the coveted Mach Buster Club. Mr. Miller went on to attend Military Intelligence School in Washington, D.C. and finished his education graduating from the University of Iowa with a Political Science Degree in 1958."
    • From p.208 of In for the Long Haul: The Life of John Ruan by William B. Friedricks: "Clearly, John had found the right formula. His trucking operations were clicking along when the unexpected happened. In July 1994, 61-year-old Larry Miller, the athletic, health-conscious RTMS president, collapsed and died of a heart attack after his usual routine of swimming laps in the pool at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines."
    • St. Cloud Times, "DRIVERS-TEAM FINGERHUT DEDICATED CARRIAGE", 1994/07/31: "Ruan Transportation Corporation is accepting applications for qualified team drivers for our Fingerhut dedicated carriage terminal in St. Cloud, MN."
    • Material Handling & Logistics, "All in the family", 2005/01/04: "[Great Northern Corp. (GNC)] has another operating group, called Laminations, in California and uses Ruan Transportation to handle [graphic packaging and point-of-purchase displays]. [...] Moving sheets from Appleton to Racine and Chippewa Falls is handled by GNC's long-time dedicated truckload carrier, Ruan. Ruan has 27 tractors, more than 100 trailers, a dispatcher and a manager in Appleton, as well as a dispatcher in Racine, explains Ed Vaske, the carrier's vice president of sales. The carrier frequently will haul sheets to Racine at night, making extra use of equipment so GNC isn't just doing firstpulls during the day, Michels notes. Ruan then hauls finished product from Racine back to Appleton."
    • Ruan bio of founder John Ruan: "Our founder has played a significant role in not only our company, but the transportation industry as a whole. In fact, in 1997, for his contributions to the industry, the American Trucking Associations' Ruan Transportation Center building was dedicated in Washington, D.C., honoring Mr. Ruan's more than 50 years of service to the transportation industry."
    • Skyscraper Center page on the Ruan Center at 666 Grand Avenue in Des Moines
  • Jacob Wetterling abduction links
  • US military career in the Marines and prior marriage and law enforcement career with the Polk County Sheriff's Office
    • Des Moines Tribune, "BUTLER-SODA", 1963/09/17: "The engagement and plans for an April wedding of Marlys Butler, 1224 S. W. Emma ave., and Cpl. Samuel J. Soda, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Soda, 915 Caulder ave., are announced by the bride-elect's parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Butler of the Emma avenue address. Miss Butler is a receptionist at Globe Machinery and Supply Co., and her fiance, is stationed in Buffalo, N. Y., with the Marines."
    • Star-Gazette (Elmira NY), "DeMolay to See Marine Team on Self Defense", 1964/11/20: "The art of self defense as practiced by the Marine Corps will be demonstrated for members of the Mark Twain Chapter, Order of DeMolay and guests on Nov. 30, at the Elmira Masonic Temple. The demonstration will follow a public spaghetti dinner at 6:30 p. m. being sponsored by the DeMolays on the fifth floor of the Masonic building. Ju jitsu, karate and aikido will be presented by the Marine Self-Defense Team, maintained by the Marine Recruiting Station at Buffalo. Its members consist of Capt. Angus R. Reynolds, Sgt Jerry Simmons, Sgt 1.C C. Dorris, and Cpl. Samuel J. Soda. The team explains and demonstrates the three methods of self defense and gives an exhibition of various self defense methods that can be used by average citizens."
    • Des Moines Tribune, "Des Moines Marine Wins Karate Black Belt", 1965/06/02: "Marine Corps Sgt. Samuel J. Soda of Des Moines recently became the first person in Buffalo to attain the rank of Black Belt in karate. Sgt. Soda, a 1960 graduate of Dowling, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Soda, 915 Caulder street. He is a member of the self-defense demonstration team maintained by the Marine recruiting station here."
    • Des Moines Tribune, "Divorces Asked", 1969/06/04: "Marlys vs. Samuel Joseph Soda."
    • Des Moines Tribune, "Divorces Granted", 1970/06/19: "Marlys from Samuel Joseph Soda."
    • Des Moines Tribune, "The Violent Death of Lewis Wheeler", 1970/06/26: "Sam Soda, a Marine recruiter, Vietnam veteran and reserve deputy, circled the north side of the house and took up a position at its northwest corner where he could cover a rear door and enclosed back porch."
    • Des Moines Register, "Two Killed In Collision Near D.M.", 1971/01/21: "Polk County Sheriff's deputy Sam Soda said road conditions were good. He said it was not known which vehicle crossed the center line."
  • 2010 Franklin Files comment by Noreen Gosch claims Sam Soda lived on the same street as Marc Allen: "A very interesting point, the address given for Marc Allen at the time of his kidnapping was the same street in Des Moines, where Sam Soda lived. Coincidence???? I doubt it... there are so many things which link this man to the three cases. During the interview with Marc's mother, she stated that when she reported Marc missing, the police told her they had to wait 48 hours. This took place 2 years AFTER, I got the Johnny Gosch Law passed in Iowa, which stipulated the police had to act immediately on a kidnapping case. She also indicated she had the feeling the police did not want panic after her son disappeared. There was no press coverage for this boy and I suspect very little in the way of an investigation. In other words, the police covered up another case in Des Moines. All three kidnapping investigations were going no where. Why were the police allowed get away with this?"
  • 2012 Franklin Files comment by Noreen Gosch makes numerous allegations about Soda from her private investigation: he introduced Rusty Nelson to Larry King, he owned a green Ford station wagon that was seen by Des Moines witnesses and subsequently mentioned by Bonacci, he was identified as being where Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped 24 hours prior to the abduction, and he brought child porn to Barry's Lounge
  • Other child abductions with a similar green station wagon
  • Barry's Lounge background
    • Des Moines Tribune, "After Dark", 1981/10/22: "The tavern is housed in an A-frame building of the design usually associated with Colorado ski resorts, and it features a bar with silver dollars imbedded in the top. A game room offers an assortment of electronic video games and four red-felt-covered pool tables."
    • Des Moines Register, "Barry, barry good", 1993/08/26: "There are new owners at Barry's Lounge, 2107 McKinley. Ron and Bonnie Platt have changed the bar's hours on Saturdays, opening at noon. They'll cook hamburgers on the grill all afternoon. And they'll be open on Sundays starting Sept 12 for NFL football games on two new satellite dishes. They're having an appreciation party for the Air National Guard for the Guard's flood work on Sunday. Call 285-9577."
    • Des Moines Register, "Bites at Barry's", 1994/09/29: "If you're seeking nourishment near the airport, Barry's (formerly Barry's Lounge) at 2107 McKinley, is now serving lunches. Barry's opens at 11:30 daily and usually has a couple of specials. If you're there to watch a football game on Saturday afternoon, you can chow down on half-pound burgers from the grill. Barry's has seven TVs and can tune in all the pro football games on Sundays, too. If you haven't seen it, check out the L-shaped pool table at Barry's while you're there."
    • Des Moines Register, "From Barry's to Bourbon", 1997/05/15: "Ron and Bonnie Platt, former owners of Barry's Lounge, which burned about a year ago, are back in the bar biz. They're almost ready to open Bourbon Street at the former Sportsman's Lounge, 500 Army Post Road."
    • Des Moines Register, "Climate change affects beer price", 2006/05/04: "The Platts have owned four other bars in central Iowa: the Cottontail in Urbandale, the Sportsman, Bourbon Street North in Johnston, and Barry's on the corner of Fleur Drive and McKinley Avenue, which burned down in 1995."
  • Another Sam Soda in Des Moines (possibly related)
  • David Shurter allegations (not particularly credible) - says that his family was the one who owned the green station wagon, but also implicates Soda in pedophile activities in Omaha and claims he was a manager at the Stage Door gay bar there
    • "Another Connection to the Johnny Gosch Abduction and My Family", 2012/12/28: "Funny- the Ford station wagon that Noreen Gosch describes, not only in her son’s abduction, but also Jacob Wetterling’s abduction in Minnesota was EXACTLY like the one my father Robert Lynn Shurter Jr. and his wife Joanne C. Shurter owned- although I am sure that they probably didn’t register it under their names but used one of their many pseudo-names that they seem to have an endless supply of."
    • "Our Family’s Vehicles in Relation to Child Abductions", 2012/12/28: "My father, Robert Lynn Shurter Jr., drove a big blue Northern Propane utility truck- and when I spoke to the Jacob Wetterling foundation about my concerns about my father being involved, I was told that a big blue truck was indeed involved with the abduction. Another car familiar with these abductions is a white Oldsmobile. My grandfather, Robert Lynn Shurter I, owned this vehicle, and then, after his death- the title I believe was transferred to my grandmother, Ruth Shurter. However, my family had this car accessible to them- and it has been reported in several abductions. Lastly- the Ford station wagon that was green with wooden panels on the outside. It opened in two directions because there were seats in the back for passengers. Funny that all three of these vehicles have been reported in child abductions, and my family- at one point or another- owned all three."
    • "Argument Presented on Craigslist about My Post this Morning", 2012/12/28: "Northern Natural Gas would NOT have noticed their truck missing- since we lived in Graettinger Iowa and my father was not only the manager of the plant- he was the only employee at that location. The truck went everywhere, and St. Joesph Minnesota was NOT an 800 mile trip but rather a little over 200 miles. Because my father was a manager- and basically did his own thing as a gas distributor- the miles and fuel purchases were NOT accounted for."
    • "A List of Facts Concerning Myself Trying to Get My Family Investigated for Child Trafficking", 2018/05/18: "Sam Soda- also spoken about in the Gosch abduction was once my boss at a gay bar called the Stage Door- which was directly across the street from Omaha Police headquarters where Robert Wadman- chief of police and named in the Franklin Scandal- worked."
  • Stage Door Lounge information (also erroneously called the "Stagedoor bar"), where Soda was said to be the manager
    • From Rabbit Hole by David Shurter: "A bar called The Stage Door was located right across from the police station, up the street from The Hollywood. It was a hot spot at the time, but the manager quit after being accused by a Des Moines mother of being involved in 1982 with abducting her son Johnny Gosch, yet another paperboy. Once again, there was no investigation into the allegations, nor any investigation into Gosch’s disappearance whatsoever, but those who heard about the situation figured the manager of The Stage Door left just to avoid any problems."
    • Omaha Gay History Project, "Local and Regional Gay Bars": "The Stage Door Lounge was another popular gay bar in the 1970s and 1980s. It was affectionately called "The Door" by its patrons, others called it "The Strange Door." It was located on Howard Street about one-half block East of 16th Street, on the same block as The Orpheum Theater, hence the name "stage door." Initially it was a tiny bar, only one store front wide."
    • Instagram post on the Stage Door Lounge provides the address as 1512 Howard Street
    • Omaha World-Herald, "Police Investigate Shooting, Stabbing", 1985/10/24: "One man was shot and another was stabbed in separate incidents late Wednesday night at two downtown Omaha bars, police said. Both incidents were reported about midnight. Police were called to The Run bar at 1715 Leavenworth St. after a man reportedly was stabbed in the back. The man was taken by private auto to St. Joseph Hospital, authorities said. His name and condition were not immediately made public. At about the same time, police were called to the Stage Door Lounge, [...]"
    • Omaha World-Herald, "Man, 18, Tells Police He Was Shot in Arm", 1985/10/24: "A man told police he was shot in the arm while in the Stage Door Lounge, 16th and Howard Streets, Wednesday night. Darrick A. Anders, 18, was listed in good condition at Lutheran Hospital with a gunshot wound in the arm. Officers who interviewed the victim at the hospital said Anders told them he did not know the man who shot him or why he was shot. Police said Anders appeared to be intoxicated and refused to answer further questions."
    • Omaha World-Herald, "Shooting Wounds Omahan in Arm", 1985/10/25: "Darrick A. Anders, 18, 2508 Bristol St., was listed in good condition Thursday at Lutheran Hospital with a gunshot wound in the arm. Anders told police he was shot late Wednesday at the Stage Door Lounge, 1512 Howard St. Officers said Anders told them he did not know the man who shot him or why he was shot. Police said Anders refused to answer other questions."
    • Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Nightlife: The King of Queens", 2009/01/30: "In 30 years as a working drag queen, TiNea has seen many things and met a lot of people. His introduction to this niche career took place in Omaha, right after he graduated from high school in the late 1970s. He was living in Boys Town. "It was a Saturday night at a gay bar called the Stage Door," TiNea remembered. "A drag queen got on stage and I thought he was a stripper because he was making all kinds of money. I was blown away." Two weeks later, TiNea was on that same stage."
    • QuickSilver, "Oak Cliff bartender Dan: Barbara’s Pavillion profile", 2017/06/20: "Barbara’s Pavillion patrons know Dan. For the last 10 years Oak Cliff bartender Dan has poured drinks and heard stories. [...] At the age of 20, Dan wanted to move to the nearest gay-friendly city he could find, so he moved to Omaha, Nebraska to bartend at The Stage Door Lounge. Later, he joined The Max, which has been a well-known gay bar since opening in the 1980’s."
    • 2018/04/07 comment by Craig on a post about the Cave: "Many great memories of that era and of the Stage Door also. We would go back and forth between the two. The Stage Door had either yellow or orange shag carpeting on the walls and floor. A friend of mine use to call it “The blushing big bird lounge”."
    • 2018/06/07 public records response from the Douglas County Registrar of Deeds: "According to our records, the ownership is deed book 810 page 448, miscellaneous book 273 page 271, deed book 1644 page 386, deed book 1644 page 385. and deed instrument number 2012129717. Please view document using book and page and instrument number on our website. If you need a further search, you're welcome to come to our office or send someone to our office, or please contact a title company for a complete search. Please note our office is a recording office and we don't search the record. All our records are online now that you're welcome to search for yourself. You will need to sign up for our premium services and become a registered user. Once registered you can research our records and view watermarked images of documents for no charge. If you want to print documents or print our property history you will need to become a subscriber for a fee. I have provided the link below for your convenience. dcregisterofdeeds.org You can make a request by mail; be sure to include the instrument number or book and page including the type of the document (e,g,. Deed) with your request and a check for $5 per document. If you’d like to make a request via phone, call 402-444-6781. You’ll need your instrument number or book and page and a credit card. There is a 2.49 percent processing fee when using a credit card over the phone."
    • My Omaha Obsession, "I Wish I Could Have Gone to: 1512 Howard Street", 2018/09/16 - mentions Ron Bergeron as the owner
      • Des Moines Register, "JUDGE PERMITS NUDE DANCING AT 2 LOUNGES", 1978/01/06: "A hearing will be held Feb. 7 in district court, to determine whether the county attorney should be permanently enjoined from enforcing the law against nude dancing in lounges contained in the new Iowa Criminal Code which went into effect Sunday. James Pratt, attorney for the Bittersweet and Foxy Lady - also known as the Lusty Lady - lounges here, said he filed a petition to prohibit prosecution before any charges were filed. [...] Liquor license holders of the Bittersweet and Foxy Lady are Three K. C. Corp. and Ron Bergeron and the Two-R Corp. and Bergeron, Pratt said."
      • Lincoln Star, "Nudity law temporarily suspended", 1978/01/06: "The petitions filed against County Attorney David Richter by Two-R Inc., operators of the Lusty Lady, and the Three KC Corp., and Ron Bergeron, operators of the Bittersweet, claim the law is unconstitutional."
      • Des Moines Register, "Hearing scheduled on nude dancing", 1978/01/12: "The petitions were filed by the Two-R Inc., operator of the Lusty Lady, and the Three-KC Corp. and Ron Bergeron, operators of the Bittersweet Lounge."
      • Des Moines Register, "Nude dancers appear - with clothes on - to argue ban", 1978/02/01: "The first test of the state's new law governing nudity in taverns got off to an upbeat start in Council Bluffs as District Judge J. L. Larson watched a video tape of a young woman climbing out of a red-lined coffin and peeling off her clothes. [...] There had been speculation that at least one dancer would perform her act in court, but attorneys for Ron Bergeron, operator of the Bittersweet Lounge and the Lusty Lady Lounge, showed the video tapes and one movie film instead. The two video tapes were made at the Bittersweet last week by WOWT television station of Omaha. They showed two acts performed by the featured dancer at the club. The woman, Shelly Perez of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was subpoenaed by County Atty. David Richter, who sought to show that the only reason people go to Bergeron's two lounges is to see naked women. [...] Bergeron testified that before the new law went into effect, he grossed between $1,000 and $1,500 a day from the two lounges. After Jan. 1 and before he obtained the injunction, he said he grossed only about $200 a day. [...] William G. Line, a Fremont, Neb., attorney representing Bergeron, told the court that the law is unconstitutional because - among other things - it bans nudity in such public places as bars, taverns and nightclubs, but permits it in other places, such as theaters, concert halls, museums and art centers."
      • Des Moines Register, "New Iowa law upheld, and dancers cover up", 1978/02/08 (pages 1a, 6a): "Ron Bergeron of Omaha, Neb., operator of the two clubs just east of the Council Bluffs city limits, had challenged the new law governing nudity in certain liquor establishments. [...] "We'll obey the law," Bergeron said Tuesday afternoon. "Our girls will be wearing pasties and G-strings tonight." Bergeron said it hasn't been decided whether Larson's ruling will be appealed. But he said he plans to continue operating the two clubs, "If I can make a living at it. I have no idea what the future might hold." Bergeron testified during the court hearing that he employs 15 to 20 regular dancers at the two clubs, and that the women are paid from $300 to $400 a week. He said he also pays as much as $2,200 a week for a featured speciality act - usually nude - at the Bittersweet. [...] Bergeron and his attorneys sought to show that Bergeron has strict rules governing conduct of performers at his clubs, and that he does not permit vulgarity, lewdness, drugs or soliciting for prostitution."
      • Des Moines Tribune, "Iowa ban on nude dancing in taverns upheld", 1979/05/30: "The law against nudity in taverns, which took effect in 1978, had been challenged by Ronald Bergeron, whose Three K.C. corporation operates the Bittersweet and Lusty Lady lounges in Council Bluffs. Bergeron had argued that the law deprived him of property without due process of law."
      • Sioux City Journal, "Court upholds ban on tavern nudity", 1979/05/31: "Owners of two establishments In Council Bluffs, the Bittersweet and the Lusty Lady, contended the law violates the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions. [...] Bittersweet owner Ronald Bergeron testified in the lower court that he did not permit "lewd" conduct, prostitution or use of drugs by any of his entertainers. Bergeron said he warns, then fires, anyone who persists in lewd conduct, which he defined as squatting or bending forward with the back to patrons. He also said he has a bouncer named Clyde who ejects "over-aroused patrons." He said Clyde is about 6-feet-2 and weighs from 280 to 300 pounds."
      • Lincoln Journal Star, "Lobbyist, cigarette business criticized", 2001/04/27: "An Omaha business that sells "gray market" cigarettes and its lobbyist drew the wrath of state senators Thursday morning. Omaha lobbyist Mike Kelley, and the business, R and B Enterprises, were "dishonest" with state senators about the issue, Sen. Paul Hartnett of Bellevue said. [...] The bill sailed through early votes weeks ago. But Hartnett said he agreed to delay the third and final vote for a month to give Ronald Bergeron, owner of R and B Enterprises, time to unload the cigarettes he had in stock. [...] Bergeron wanted until mid-May to sell the cigarettes he bought before a federal ban began in February, Kelley said. R and B Enterprises wholesaled the cigarettes across the state and sold them at Bergeron's Omaha night club, the Bitter Sweet Bar, Kelley said."
      • UNO Gateway, "Playhouse operator offers money to city of Glenwood", 2005/02/08: "According to the story, Ron Bergeron, the man who owns the Playhouse Performing Arts Theater in Glenwood, Iowa, wants to give the city somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 to make sure the city pool will be open this summer."
  • 2018/08/06 comment on the Iowa Cold Cases page by Jeebz12: "Even though he didn’t probably come after Johnny on foot and emerge from the trees between two houses like the “story” suggests, I would bet my life that GPB, SS, and a few former Des Moines Register employees know exactly what happened to Gosch and Martin. Why was SS never arrested for impersonating a DCI officer or for obtaining and showing CP? The reason why is one of the things wrong with the case from the start. Boy if there’s one guy that I wish I knew what he knew it would be S. The fact that he moved from Omaha to Des Moines once things heated up and was straddling two cities and was part of local politics at the time just blows my mind. I am not saying he was the abductor at all. All I am saying is he at least knows who it was and there he was part of city council all that time that LE was so desperate to find information on Gosch or Martin."

More recent events

  • America's Most Wanted coverage
    • Des Moines Register, "Crime show examines Martin, Gosch cases", 1992/11/20: "Portions of tonight's program were filmed in and near the Gosch home in West Des Moines. Actors playing the Gosches and Johnny re-enact scenes that are based primarily on police reports and accounts of the couple. The actual abduction of Gosch or Martin, though, isn't portrayed because there are no known witnesses, Breslin said. In one scene, private investigator Roy Stephens, who has assisted the Gosches, points out a message "Johnny Gosch was here" found years later in fingernail polish on a restroom wall in a Denver restaurant."
    • Des Moines Register, "Phone call is seen as extortion", 1992/12/05: "Also received was a 14-page letter written by an individual who claimed he had known Paul Bonacci. He said he could verify some of Bonacci's version of the kidnapping. The writer, who said he wanted to help in the investigation, claimed to have been with Gosch for two years. Bonacci, a former Nebraska prison inmate, was interviewed on the program and told of his involvement in Gosch's abduction. He identified three others who he said participated. Authorities do not consider Bonacci credible. Sparrow said the letter was signed "Jimmy" but there was no other identification and no return address. He said the program planned during a broadcast to make an appeal to the writer to identify himself."
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch didn't make phone calls, FBI says", 1993/01/06 - according to a speech by John DeCamp (see the Franklin page), Jimmy Gibson knew in advance that this alleged San Francisco call from Johnny was a hoax
    • Des Moines Register, "Gosch case featured on 'Most Wanted'", 1993/05/26: "Paul Bonacci, a former Nebraska prison inmate who has been treated for mental disorders, reiterated his claim that he helped to kidnap Gosch back on Sept. 5, 1982, as part of a bizarre child prostitution ring. Another man, filmed in shadows and identified only as "Jimmy," said he encountered Gosch while in the prostitution ring. Noreen Gosch, Johnny's mother, said that even though FBI investigators have called Bonacci an unreliable witness, she believes that Bonacci and "Jimmy" know too much about Johnny to be completely discredited."
  • Des Moines Register, "Gosches divorce after 26 years", 1993/09/04 - mentions "Milwaukee native" Jimmy Gibson, who claimed to possess "a picture purportedly of their son [Johnny] taken in recent years" and "to have known Gosch and Martin, who he said are living in the same community that he hasn't disclosed"
  • Des Moines Register, "Gosch turns himself in; out on bail", 1993/10/16: "John Gosch, the father of disappeared newspaper carrier Johnny Gosch, turned himself in to West Des Moines police Friday on charges of harassing his estranged wife. Noreen Gosch told police that between Sept. 28 and Oct. 10 she received several harassing phone calls from John Gosch, according to Sgt. Paul Barrows. The Gosches have filed for divorce. Gosch was released Friday on $260 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 22 on two counts of harassment, a simple misdemeanor, Barrows said. Barrows said that John Gosch did not threaten his wife with bodily harm, but used obscene language in the phone calls. "They were more of a harassing nature than a threatening nature," he said. In August, a friend of Noreen Gosch, Alan Kinsey of Ankeny, complained to police that John Gosch had been following him and making crank phone calls for weeks. No charges were filed in that case. The Gosches' 12-year-old son was last seen more than 11 years ago while delivering The Sunday Register a few blocks from the family's West Des Moines home. He is believed to have been kidnapped. The case has baffled authorities, who say they have no suspects. The Gosches have kept up a highly visible search for their son ever since."
  • Des Moines Register, "Noreen Gosch allowed to retrieve belongings", 1995/01/05
  • Des Moines Register, "Missing carrier Gosch's parents granted divorce", 1995/08/11
  • Des Moines Register, "Divorces", 1995/08/11: "Noreen Natalie and Leonard John Gosch"
  • Des Moines Register, "Gosch lives, mom is told", 1997/08/27: "Fifteen years after the apparent abduction of her son, Noreen Gosch says she now has information that he is alive. [...] "From the standpoint that he could be alive, it's good news," says Polk County Attorney John Sarcone, who recently met with Gosch and several local investigators to discuss the case."
  • Websleuths post by dorca the just referring to a 1998 Kansas City Star article on April 4 or 5 discussing a radio interview with Noreen where she said Johnny escaped in September 1987
  • Jimmy Gibson background
    • Alternate names: James Alaxandar Corey Gibson ; James Corey Alaxandar Gibson ; James Alaxandar Gibson ; James Corey Gibson ; James A. Gibson ; James C. Gibson ; James Gibson ; Alaxandar Gibson ; Alax Gibson
    • Date of birth: August 19, 1970 or August 19, 1968 (both have been reported)
    • 1987 driving infraction in Oregon - was caught driving without a license on 1987/06/11 in Clackamas County OR
    • 1987 trespassing charge resulting in probation
    • ISP company in Wisconsin - known as Simpleton Microsystems and PecBell Communications Inc.
      • PecBell website
        • Home: "Wisconsin's Larget ISP, we reach over 7000 locations & cover most of Europe. Our price is the same wherever you live.Worldwide Access, $17.50"
        • Contact: "SimpletonMicro.Com / PecBell.Com 315 S Main Street Blanchardville, WI 53516"
        • People
        • Employees - James Gibson - has a photograph
      • Off-Road.com, "2002 September - Readers Respond": "08/31/2002 - My company has a solution to this problem, a lo jack system that is installed into the ignition systems of dirt bikes. When the bike is started the system is armed. I will send you info if interested. James Gibson PecBell Communications Inc."
    • Old blog run by Jimmy Gibson - blog title is "Alax's Web Journal" (matching the middle name Alaxandar); name of the proprietor is Alax Gibson
      • "The Start", 2005/06/28: "WHY? The main reason is during my life I have always started things but it seems like I never got them finished. I have lost my friends and family because of this problem. I need to clear out my head and see other folks from around our great country. I can't afford to travel conventionally, so I must walk. Walking is free and everybody can do it. I used to own a Internet Company (ISP) until one day when our bank was shut down by the Fed. My company solely used this bank and we could not establish good working credit after the closing of the bank. This has really affected me many way's. I lost my home, my vehicle and just about everything I had. So there are no reasons why I shouldn't do this. I have nothing anyway. I am in search of myself and life. If I can get this feat done, then I have accomplished something that not too many people have. Then I will be confident in myself once again. Right now I have no confidence, life is scary, and un-certain. I got real close to some people that I called my family, but as usual I screwed that friendship up. So I am also doing this walk as a tribute to them, to let them know I really did appreciate and hold those memories dear to me. When you get like this, most people spend money and go see a shrink, I believe that everybody can heal themselves, it's just nature. Thanks for stopping by and hopefully this inspires folks from all over to take a walk. I would like to thank Ed Wolfe of Foot Efx, there has been some inspirational communication with this person and company."
      • "Leaving Now", 2005/06/28: "Today I am going to start my walk. It is in the afternoon so I should have a nice cool evening walk. I am going to try to get half way to Eau Claire, WI. My goal is to get to Madison by July 6. I got 2 gallons of drinking water, a couple of snickers bars (King Size) no cell phone, no walkman. Just man and his backpack and nature."
    • 2009 Franklin Files posts quoting Jimmy Gibson - expresses a belief that Paul Bonacci was not involved in the abduction; denounces any connection to the Franklin case and claims "Between De Camp, the Nebraska Leadership Council and other entities there was lots of money to be made with this story. I believe it was monitarily based and created for the sake of monetary gain." just as cppweb did in 2004; asserts he was in contact with Johnny Gosch during the filming of America's Most Wanted; tells a weird story: "While I was in Lincoln, John Decamp, John Morrow and a few other associates of DeCamps tried to covince me to go along with the Franklin story, I felt that if my story was to be credible, I must stay away from these people and leave the scene, and that is what I did. I as on probation at this time with the state of WI, and all this what I tell you is documentated with the Dept. of Corrections. However what is weird is I actually met with the Gov. Tommy Thompson after I came back under FBI escort and told him all that had happened, and he sealed my file and that day I was off probation. Why was I on probation? I got caught tresspassing on Federal property ( I was checking out a ICBM site) I have a fascination with Nukes. (sorry but I do)"; acknowledges joining the Marines but denies any intelligence work
  • ABC 20/20 program made in 1997 and 1998
  • John Zielinski book dispute
  • Pointblank Des Moines, "Death of a Conspiracy: Johnny Gosch, Jeff Gannon, Hunter Thompson and the unraveling of a troubling tale" by Tim Schmitt, 2005/04 - article about the Gosch/Gannon allegations and the suspicious silencing of Franklin witnesses Hunter Thompson, Paul Bishop, and Rusty Nelson
  • CIA agent confession in 2005 - almost certainly Paul Bishop
    • KWWL 7, "New Leads In The Johnny Gosch Case", 2005/05/25 - there was a tape recording of a purported CIA agent admitting to Jim Rothstein that the agency was responsible for Johnny's abduction; from the article: "Rothstein now believes the CIA was involved and tried cover it up. "They were assigned to find out if there was an agency connection to it and I am quite sure that if they found one, to make sure it was covered," he says. And Rothstein's CIA informant says this: "We were specifically ordered to clear our name. This would make the American agency look pretty s****y, like we're all a bunch of f***ing child molesters." We requested information from the CIA on three kidnappings, Rothstein and his CIA informant believes to be connected. The first, Johnny Gosch, the second, Eugene Martin, kidnapped on August 12th, 1984 while delivering newspapers in Des Moines. And, Jacob Wetterling, who was kidnapped from his Minnesota neighborhood on October 22, 1989. The CIA responded to our request with this letter, denying the agency investigated any of the kidnapping cases. But, Rothstein's source says, it happened often and for big bucks"
    • From Jim Rothstein, "PEDOPHILLIA AND THE CRIMINAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN: A Layman’s look at History" (also on Noreen's website posted 2007/02/16): "In April of 2005, information was received from a “source” who stated he had been a Field Analyst for the CIA. The “source” stated that, as a result of the Johnny Gosch kidnapping on September 5, 1982, he and 19 others were assigned to do an investigation to make sure that the CIA or a rogue element of the CIA was not involved in using children. The fear was that Foreign Intelligence operations would classify them as a bunch of pedophiles. The “source” stated he was selected because of “special qualifications” he had, which would allow him to penetrate this subculture. Johnny Gosch was the first of three similar kidnappings that the “source” stated were conducted by the same group of kidnappers. All three victims were newspaper delivery boys. The second kidnapping was Eugene Martin. Gosch and Martin were from Des Moines, Iowa. The third intended victim was a local newspaper delivery boy from St. Joseph, Minnesota. When interviewed, he stated he was able to escape by slipping out of his coat and running. When this kidnapping failed, a second attempt was made and Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped. To this date, none of these crimes have been solved. Why? The “source” stated that their investigation continued until 1989. The evidence uncovered during this investigation proved that 834 children were kidnapped and used by this subculture. This is only the tip of the iceberg of the depravity that was uncovered. The evidence was passed up to higher authorities in the Agency, where, as always, the hierarchy covered it up."
    • According to Paloma, an acquaintance of Jim Rothstein who claims to have listened to the tape, the CIA analyst was Paul Bishop and his unique "qualifications" were that he was a pedophile who could blend into a pedophile network
  • According to Noreen in her 2005 interview with Charlene Fassa and some subsequent radio interviews, a witness to the abduction whose story was initially just reported as hearing a car door slam actually saw a man shoot Johnny with a stun gun and throw him into the car, information the police suppressed
  • 2006 photos and Nelson Zalva
    • CBS3 (Omaha) news story on the three photos that Noreen received - has Jim Rothstein say that the man is a perpetrator
    • Des Moines Register, "Possible Gosch photos checked out", 2006/09/01 - mentions Michael Corbin and Jimmy Gibson
    • alt.gossip.celebrities discussion on the Gosch photo news, starting 2006/09/02
    • Websleuths comment noticing that the photo of three boys on a bed is similar to the Port St. Joe polaroid thought to depict Tara Leigh Calico
      • Reddit observation that a photo believed to show Tara Calico and the photo of three boys on the bed claimed by Zalva share an orange sleeping bag (original Reddit post, image linked): "She's on an orange sleeping bag. There are several photos from the 80s depicting tied up boys on an orange sleeping bag. They appear to be in some sort of trailer. I wonder if it's the same setting?" and "Some people believe the pictures are connected. If you look at them, they feature children in the same clothes, same gags, same sleeping bag or sheets, same rooms. This woman is on a similar (not sure if it's the same) orange sleeping bag, but her binds and gag are different than the children in the other pictures. You can see the orange sleeping bag in this picture: https://taboodada.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/johnny-gosch-kidnapping-photo.jpg. There are others, but I couldn't find them readily online."
      • Unexplained Mysteries post by iamdee1 about the potential connection of Tara Calico to a pedophile ring: "To U.M. members, do not let the thought of moving children across country seem too irrational to you. As a child that was abducted in the 70's, I have done a lot of searching and investigating of the subject and have come to the conclusion that these children get relocated many miles away from the abduction sight. I don't believe that many picked up by the pediophile rings in this country very seldom ever get detained close to their home cities.

        Back in the 80's, when this photo hit the media, it was the first case that I ever contacted law inforcement about and I told them my story and what had happened to me. I gave them information with names and some of that information was released to the public on one of the major television shows during that was airing at that time.

        I strongly believe that the same organization that kidnapped me in 1975 is the same one that abducted Johnny Gosch in the early 80's and Tara and David in the late 1980's. Same motus operandi, children tied up, look to be drugged, and transported by vehicle to a location where they could be stored.

        Since this photo appeared months after Tara and David disappeared, I am certain that they were held for auction, auctioned off, then taken to a separate destination to be enslaved, in this case, quite possibly Florida. It is also interesting to know that Port St. Joe Florida where the polaroid was found, sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico with easy access to the Atlantic."
      • Some researchers have suggested that Tara was abducted by serial killer David Parker Ray, whose daughter reported him for human trafficking to the FBI (which claimed they could not corroborate the allegations) around 1986
      • Possible depiction of Doreen Vincent instead
        • 2006 forum post by CarlUK: "I fully believe that the bound and gagged girl in the Post St Joe Polaroid is Doreen Jane Vincent. Here is a side by side comparison; http://i4.tinypic.com/2419tsm.jpg Everything except the hair (which changes) matches: The Chin curve, the jaw curve, the nose, eyebrow lines, eye shape, overall face shape. The circumstances and timing also match."
        • Websleuths post in 2008 by Mozenrath: "I think the person who is most likely the girl in the photo, besides Calico, is Doreen Jane Vincent. http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/87dfct.html Here is a comparison I made: [...] I think the biggest similarities between the photo of Doreen and the polaroid of the girl are the left-eyes(screen right), the shape of the chin, the distancebetween the chin and the nose, the height of the lips(as far as I can tell), and the shape of the arch of the nose. [...] Also notice that Doreen seems to have a thinning right-eyebrow(screen left). It is difficult to ascertain whether or not this is a genuine clue or a jpeg artifact. But the possibility that she has thinning eyebrows may be a clue that she is the girl in the polaroid."
        • Student Section links on the Drug Free America Foundation website - interesting to note that the only teen drug rehab endorsed by Mel Sembler's DFAF is Teen Challenge, riddled with abuse just like DFAF predecessor Straight Inc. (where Paul Bishop worked) and an employer of Doreen's father Mark Vincent at its Connecticut institution
    • Des Moines Register blog discussion on the photos: pages 1, 2, 3, 4
      • p.3 on 2006/09/06 @ 20:17 by Jon: "I know that the photos sent to Noreen are not of her son, but were sent to her to prove a point. That she will jump on anything she gets to get into the media.

        The photos came from a sicko pervert website called jacobstales.com aka steves gallery.

        These photos have been in the news before. Nothing new here. If you go to that website, clik the gallery link, then click user galleries and select the user “peps” you will see that there is a gallery called “tied up”

        Click that gallery and you will see the same photos."
      • p.3 on 2006/09/06 @ 20:39 by James: "Hi my name is Jimmy Gibson. I am writing you to tell my side of the recent development.

        About 3 weeks ago I recieved 3 photos to my email, I do not know who sent them nor do I know where they came from, it was a anom email account probably sent froma proxy server. I was quite shocked when I saw them and debated on wether I should send them to Noreen Gosch or not. Yes the photos indeed look like it could be Johnny Gosch but like everything in this world you are never really sure. So I thought about it for a while and then I edventually sent them to a contact of Noreen Gosch, Tim White who has been working with her on this case.

        I went back to the email and looked and one of the images was not an actual copy but a image linked pic. So I traced the image back to the url (Which appears below)

        http://www.jacobstales.com/gallery4/displayimage.php?album=1051&pos=80

        The image with the “brand” I believe not to be Johnny and not a legit image at all, but the one with the three kids, the middle kid I believe couold be Johnny but again I doubt it. If someone is messing around and faked them they are sick. But they look real to me and thats why I forwarded them to the people I stated above.

        [...]"
    • Jacob's Tales website
      • Original website - where the purported photo of Johnny on the bed came from
        • Homepage as of 2006/04/28 - has pedophile erotica stories; jt_admin seems to have the name nuke
        • Steve's Gallery as of 2006/04/28
        • User galleries - full of nearly nude but not technically illegal photos of young boys
        • Announcement by the administrator Steve: "Recently this site was reported as having childpornography on it. First off let me say this. This site will not stand for any type of child pornography, if we find that you've uploaded pictures that are pornographic, we will track your IP and report you to the correct people to take action.

          Next, the galleries will be offline until a thorough cleaning and redesign can be finished, if all goes to plan it will be back in some limited form in December.

          Also, we will be shifting focus about our mission here at Jacob's Tales. We will start to focusing more on helping those in need, or for those with problems. All of our stories will be non-pornographic, except for those "coming out" stories that people wish to share to help others get through their own tough times while coping with who they are.

          If you have any questions about this, please feel free to e-mail steve@jacobstales.com, hate and spam will be ignored"
      • New website - supposedly has no link to the original one, though this is doubtful
        • Homepage as of 2006/12/23 - now is white text on a blue background with a link to the XNXX website saying "Click here for FREE SEX STORIES"
        • Homepage as of 2019/09/25: "Welcome to WWW.JACOBSTALES.COM This domain name was purchased by us after it expired Dec 2006. The site Jacob's Tales was shut down (by authorities?) because it linked to pics of boys who were kidnapped decades ago. We discovered this AFTER buying this name... We are not affiliated in any way with the previous owner(s) and are certainly NOT pedos ourselves. If you are a pedophile do the world a favor and just keep masturbating don't bring your fantasies to the real world. Mature adults who understand what freedom of speech means can continue to XNXX Stories to read erotic stories, free sex stories and taboo texts : FREE SEX STORIES"
        • Free Sex Stories & Erotic Stories @ XNXX.COM as of 2019/09/26 - has story categories such as Cannibalism, Mind Control, Murder, Rape, and Snuff
      • Sherri Kane, "CIA/FBI Film-faker and Famous Church of Satan Agents Exposed", 2012/09/04: "After doing more digging, I learned that Jacobstales.com was the pedophilia site where Johnny Gosch's photo's first appeared. The photos that Noreen Gosch, Johnny's mom, received on her doorstep, were taken from this site. At first glance, the site appears to be registered anonymously. But further searches led me to this Wiki site: http://www.aboutus.org/JacobsTales.com, which is a sex site for pedophiles, registered to a Marjorie Pacaud of France. Her site is networked to two U.S. military-persons' websites, indicating the pedophiles served militarily, and are networked globally, probably under the direction of Col. Michael Aquino. (See: http://www.aboutus.org/UsMemorialDay.org and NukeMods.com) The NukeMods website is registered to John Devereax of Chanhassen, MN, near Minneapolis and LifeTouch's headquarters."
      • The Next Web, "The (almost) invisible men and women behind the world’s largest porn sites", 2016/03/03 - note that Stephane is the French name for Steve, matching the name of the original Jacob's Tales admin: "MindGeek might own some of the top 10 (by traffic) porn ‘tube’ sites on the Web, but it doesn’t own XVideos, which sits in the number one spot. Instead, XVideos is registered to WGCZ Holding, a Polish company that you’ll only really find out if you trawl through the many legal cases the company is involved in, including against MindGeek. [...] XVideos isn’t the only top ranking adult site that this company seems to own though. Court filings also indicate that the individuals behind WGCZ Holding, Stephane Michael Pacaud and Deborah Malorie Pacaud, are also responsible for XNXX – the number four spot, so it’s safe to say it’s no one-hit wonder, so to speak. XNXX’s listed registrar is VLab Ltd, a company based in Hong Kong, which is also the listed registrar of some other businesses connected to the Pacauds. To add to an already (likely deliberately) confusing picture, XNXX itself is listed as owned by NKL Associates, which is another of the companies cited in court filings. [...] in a case brought by XNXX, WGCZ revealed itself as the owner of the site. It lost the case."
    • Jeff Wells, "Gosch, again", 2006/09/14 (cites Des Moines Register, "Tipster: Photos could not be Johnny Gosch", 2006/09/13 about a mysterious anonymous tipster and KCCI, title unknown, 2006/09/13)
    • Jeff Wells, "Too Much Monkey Business", 2006/09/22 - mentions alleged connection between Zalva and Jeb Bush (see Corbin interview)
    • Des Moines Register, "Ex-investigator : No proof photos aren't of Gosch", 2006/09/22 (posted in 2009 Franklin Files thread): "At The Des Moines Register's request, Miller released to the media a copy of the anonymous letter postmarked Sept. 6 from Tampa, Fla., alerting Des Moines police to Zalva's old investigation. "Gentlemen," it read. "Someone has played a reprehensible joke on a grieving mother. The photo in question is not one of her son but of three boys in Tampa, Florida about 1979-80, challenging each other to an escape contest." There was an investigation concerned with that picture, made by the Hillsborough County sheriff's office. No charges were filed, and no wrongdoing was established. The lead detective on the case was named Zalva."
    • Complete letter is on p.142 of The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes by Michael Newton:

      Gentlemen,
      Someone has played a reprehensible joke on a grieving mother. The photo in question is not one of her son but of three boys in Tampa, Florida about 1979-80, challenging each other to an escape contest. There was an investigation concerned with that picture, made by the Hillsborough County sheriff's office. No charges were filed, and no wrongdoing was established. The lead detective on the case was named Zalva. This allegation should be easy enough to check out.
       
    • Associated Press, "Florida officials can't find case file debunking photos", 2006/09/23
    • Des Moines Register, "Investigator: Gosch not shown in photos", 2006/10/18 (CTRL copy): "Zalva said he believes both letters were written by the man who originally took the pictures. He said he is trying to locate the other two youths who were identified in the second anonymous letter. However, Gosch said, she talked to the parents of the two other youths in the photos, and she knows about the circumstances of how they were taken. She said the parents contacted her after she posted the photos on her Web site, and they asked her to take them down."
    • Associated Press, "Investigators: Photos don't show Johnny Gosch", 2006/10/18
    • WOI-TV, "Gosch Not In Photos", 2006/10/20: "On Tuesday, a Florida investigator said he had located a man who was photographed 28 years ago with two other boys bound and gagged on a bed. The photo matched one left on Noreen Gosch's doorstep. The man said he knew the other boys in the photo and neither was Gosch, according to Nelson Zalva, a retired Hillsborough County, Fla., investigator. Zalva first investigated the photos in the late 1970s- years before Johnny Gosch went missing. Staff at the Hillborough County sheriff's office had been unable to locate the case file on the bound boys, and authorities, including Zalva, asked the public to come forward to identify them. West Des Moines police spokesman Jeff Miller said an anonymous letter postmarked Tampa, Fla., provided names of the boys. Zalva said he reached one of the men, now 40, who said Johnny Gosch wasn't pictured in the photo. He said he and the two boys agreed to be bound and gagged by a man in exchange for firecrackers, Zalva said. No charges were filed in the case. Zalva said he's still looking for the two other men pictured in the photographs, which he said were taken when Johnny Gosch was about 8 years old."
    • Websleuths post on 2006/10/18 claiming that Greta was covering the story about one of the boys in the photo being located
    • Dr. Doogie suggests that the B&W and color photos could both originate from a color photo that had a brand on the boy's shoulder, and William R. Thomas claims that the color photo from jacobstales.com does look blurred: pages 27, 28
    • Law enforcement career of Zalva
      • Tampa Tribune, "Police: Foster Interfered With Law", 1982/09/11
      • Baltimore Sun, "Bone marrow doctor to retire", 1993/10/03: "The survival record at Hopkins is held by a patient who has lived 16 years after transplant. Yesterday, Nelson D. Zalva, a 43-year-old policeman from Tampa, Fla., could claim top honors among those in attendance."
      • Tampa Tribune, "Recreational vehicle, phosphate truck crash at intersection", 1995/01/14 - quotes "Hillsborough County sheriff's Sgt. Nelson D. Zalva"
      • St. Petersburg Times, "Man leaps to death off Sunshine Skyway", 1995/04/10: "A 36-year-old man jumped from the Sunshine Skyway early Sunday after getting into a fight hours earlier with his wife, Hillsborough sheriff's officials said. Otis Gray, of [address withheld] in St. Petersburg, parked his car at the center span just after 3 a.m., said Sgt. Nelson Zalva. When a passer-by stopped to see if he could help, Gray said he had problems and wanted to kill himself. He then ran and dived over the bridge, Zalva said. "They always jump off the center span because no one can survive the center span," Zalva said. Coast Guard and Florida Marine Patrol officials found his body under the Skyway about 7:30 a.m. Sunday."
      • 2008 post on Franklin Files by fa_diesis: "I did do a bit of research a while back, into the Nelson Zelva ( Zalva?) fella in Florida who claimed the photos weren't of Johnny, and he didn't come out sparkling clean regarding a few other investigations, so I'm not basing any thoughts on his claims."
      • Since Zalva worked sex crimes for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office as far back as the late 1970s, and the same agency helped investigate the Bobby Joe Long serial murders in 1984, which Dave McGowan compellingly argues were actually done by a prostitution ring that used Long as a scapegoat, it's worth asking if Zalva had any role in the Bobby Joe Long investigation.
      • By the early 2000s, Zalva was a sex crimes investigator for the state attorney's office in Tampa. See St. Petersburg Times, "Sex offender arrested in lawyer's office", 2002/05/11: "Just minutes after the State Attorney's Office called a rare news conference to announce that child molester Kevin Kinder had vanished from his probation officer's radar screen, Kinder stepped into the lobby of 700 E Twiggs, a building across the street from the courthouse. Kinder was on his way to see his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Jeanine Cohen, whose office is on the fifth floor. Pam Dato, a prosecutor, happened to see him on the elevator. Dato rode to the seventh floor, where she grabbed two sex crimes investigators with the prosecutor's office, Gloria Porter and Nelson Zalva. They found Kinder waiting in the lobby of the Public Defender's Office and arrested him. He went without trouble."
      • Tampa Bay Times, "Sheriff remembered as a boss who cared", 2010/02/21: "Saying goodbye to former Hillsborough County Sheriff Walter Heinrich will be particularly painful for former Deputy Nelson Zalva. Heinrich, 83, died Monday. During his 14 years as sheriff, he built an unmatched legacy in local law enforcement. He is credited with modernizing a rural sheriff's office and transforming it to a nationally accredited arm of law enforcement. [...] Zalva joined the sheriff's office in 1973. Heinrich took over as the county's top law man in 1978. [...] Heinrich's words helped him make it through 47 grueling days of treatment at Johns Hopkins. "He took that added pressure off of me. You don't find better men than him," Zalva said. The bone marrow transplant combined with experimental drugs saved his life. By August 1981, Zalva was ready to return to work. "He was holding my job for me as a deputy sheriff on the street." Twenty years later, Zalva retired from the sheriff's office. Now at age 60, he works as an investigator with the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office. Heinrich retired in 1992. Though they went their separate ways, Zalva says they stayed in touch."
  • Photo of a boy resembling Johnny standing behind George H.W. Bush (almost certainly false)
  • Subsequent photos sent to Noreen
  • WHO-TV, "Cold Case: Missing teen Marc James Warren Allen", 2010/11/25 - has the mother of Marc Allen state that the police (ed. note: illegally) told her they needed to wait 48 hours before investigating and didn't want her drawing attention to her son's disappearance as it would frighten the whole town
  • 2011 Franklin Files announcement by LUKE J that Johnny has been identified in new photos and videos as being sold into a trafficking network
  • Patch (West Des Moines IA), "30 Years After Johnny Gosch Vanished, Iowa's Innocence Abducted", 2012/09: parts 1, ... - mentions how Gretchen, the dachshund who accompanied Johnny on his route, returned home alone that morning; according to Noreen, she got all the witness statements in the 45 minutes before police even arrived; discusses the witness account of John Rossi, who was picking up papers for his son Joe Rossi, and his regret that he wasn't more observant about the events of that morning
  • We Are Iowa, "Eugene Martin case remains open after 31 years", 2015/11/06: "Eugene Martin is missing. He disappeared on August 12th, 1984. That date is permanently etched in Jim Rowley's memory. Rowley wants to be reminded of the missing boy everyday, that's why a 30-year-old poster is hanging in his garage. Jim used to be senior police officer Rowley, the main investigator in Eugene Martin's disappearance. [...] The only solid clues left behind that day were Eugene's bag full of papers, left on the corner, and a few people who saw Eugene that morning talking to somebody. Rowley said, "We found three people going to the Balloon Fest that had drove by and seen Eugene talking to a man, it looked like a father son conversation between them." [...] Rowly has a theory that both Eugene Martin and Johnny Gosch were the victims of a pedophile. He believes they're both dead. But he hasn't given up on finding out what happened."
  • KCCI, "Noreen Gosch corresponded with MN mother who lost her son", 2016/09/08 - at 1:18 John Gosch Sr. said he found Johnny's wagon empty
  • Des Moines Register, "Johnny Gosch: An Iowa kidnapping that helped change the nation", 2017/09/04
  • Faded Out podcast with a series of episodes on the Gosch abduction (Player FM link)
  • Wilbur Millhouse involvement in the abduction
    • See the comments by former Des Moines Register paperboy Yellow Bag on the Iowa Cold Cases page for Johnny Gosch. Wilbur states that earlier in 1982, a young man in a Ford Fairmont drove up to him, asked for directions, and tried to get him into the car for sex. The color of the Ford Fairmont and description of the man do not match Emilio, but given the other similarities to the circumstances of Johnny's abduction (such as asking the prospective victim for directions), Yellow Bag's own experience is striking. Later, according to Yellow Bag, he saw the young man in the Ford Fairmont hanging out with Des Moines Register circulation manager Wilbur Millhouse, who would ultimately be revealed as a pedophile. Millhouse tried to proposition Yellow Bag for sex numerous times also, sometimes claiming that he had wealthy pedophile clients who would pay well. The most disturbing thing is that whenever Johnny Gosch was brought up in front of him, Millhouse would insinuate that he knew about or was even involved with the abduction. He would say something along the lines of: Johnny wouldn't have been taken if he had "kept his mouth shut". The subject of Johnny triggered considerable anger for Millhouse, which Yellow Bag surmises might be because Johnny told others about Millhouse's victimization of paperboys. He notes the fact that Millhouse was transferred from West Des Moines to Des Moines just before the date of Johnny's abduction, which may have been due to pedophilia complaints.
    • Des Moines Register, "NEED EXTRA MONEY?", 1981/06/17: "If you have a few spare hours a day and have dependable transportation we have an excellent opportunity for you. You can add to your income by delivering the newspaper, in the South of Grand Area, just 2 hours per day, Monday thru Saturday. To arrange for an interview appointment please call Wilbur Millhouse or Irma Flam 284-8311"
    • Des Moines Register, "R&T circulation managers cited", 1981/08/19 (pages 7b OCR): "Fourteen circulation managers from across Iowa were named managers of the year at the Des Moines Register and Tribune's annual fall circulation meeting Tuesday. Each winner received a plaque and a cash award for 1980-81 performance in sales, customer service, carrier leadership and account management. Winners of the award were Jack Stubbe of George, Frank Stearns of Mason City, Ronald Baxter of Charles City, Emmett Ewing of Oskaloosa, Bill Masters of Guthrie Center, Dennis Adams of Chariton, Jim Phoenix of Independence, Carlyne McGill of Central City, Paul Greene of Burlington, Deb Anderson of Newton, and Cledith Bright, Sue Sharon, Wilbur Millhouse and Terry King, all of Des Moines."
    • Des Moines Register, "CONGRATULATIONS To The Des Moines Register and Tribune 1981 Circulation Managers of the Year", 1981/08/30: "Sue Sharon West Des Moines William W. Masters Guthrie Center Dennis J. Adams Chariton Deborah J. Anderson Newton Jack L. Stubbe George [...] Ronald E. Baxter Charles City [...] Terry King Antony [...] Wilbur Millhouse Des Moines James R. Phoenix Independence L. Carlyne McGill Marion [...] Emmett E. Ewing Oakaloosa Frank E. Stearns Mason City Cledith Bright Des Moines Paul D. Greene West Burlington"
    • Des Moines Register, "NEWSPAPER DELIVERY AGENT For the 56th & Ingersoll Area", 1982/09/07: "If you've never considered a newspaper delivery route, consider it now. This is an excellent opportunity to increase your earnings, for just a few hours of your time per day. If you are a dependable parson who derives satisfaction from giving good service, let us tell you about this job. We will interview applicants of any age (10 years old minimum). Please call Wilbur Millhouse or Tim Moylan at 284-8311"
    • Des Moines Register, "Sexual abuse charges filed against man", 1986/11/18
    • Des Moines Register, "Grand jury clears officer in gun death", 1987/04/22: "In other court news Tuesday: Wilbur Millhouse, 44, of 2453 Maury St. pleaded guilty to six counts of third-degree sexual abuse in connection with incidents involving six teen-aged boys. Millhouse, a former employee of The Des Moines Register's circulation department, was arrested Monday after he failed to appear for trial. He pleaded guilty Tuesday before District Judge Richard Strickler and faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced May 29."
    • Kansas sex offender information for Wilbur Julius Millhouse
    • Iowa Unsolved Murders, "Murder of David R. Morris 1973": "About 8:30 on Thursday evening, February 22, 1973, Celia Morris became worried when her husband Dave had not come home from Morris Foods, the grocery he owned at 2550 Maury Street in Des Moines and which usually closed at 6:00 p.m. [...] Neighborhood resident Robert Braather of 2554 Maury Street said he was in the store in the late afternoon. He explained to Des Moines Register reporter Denise Caringer that Morris had a daily schedule: “He always had the same routine. He locked the doors at 6 p.m., counted the money, then left, locking the door behind him and turning on the burglar alarm. The only times he opened that door after he locked it was if he knew who was out there and knew it was safe to let the person in.” [...] Neighbors to the grocery were shocked and saddened by the robbery-homicide. Wilbur Millhouse of 2559 Maury Street said: “It was just a small neighborhood business. I knew Dave and can’t imagine why anyone would want to shoot him. He was so well-liked down here. He was a good man and treated us all just fine. The kids also liked him. I’ve lived here since 1955 and, when I was little, he used to give me candy.”"
    • In his interview with Roy Stephens, Bonacci says that at the motel the night before, Emilio "brought some other guy and made Mike have sex with that guy". In his 1999 court testimony, Bonacci says that after Johnny was selected and Emilio threatened to blow his brains out if he didn't go along with the kidnapping, he, Mike, and Tony went into another room while Emilio and Sam discussed with "another guy" how the kidnapping would go down. Presumably, the unidentified party at the motel mentioned in both accounts of the kidnapping is the same person. And if he was given a child to have sex with while also involved with planning the kidnapping with Sam, it's likely that the man was actually being paid through a sexual favor in order to provide the information to kidnap Johnny. This unidentified party may well be Wilbur Millhouse or an associate of his.
    • The man in the Ford Fairmont who approached Yellow Bag in early 1982 is described as around 25 years old, dark hair, mustache, medium build, brown eyes, and having an East Coast accent. Paul Bishop is a known pedophile from the East Coast who fits all of these descriptions. Alternatively, a Twitter user suggests that the Ford Fairmont man's accent could be that of a Chicagoan, which is interesting because "Emilio" suspect Roger Matice and "Tony" suspect Phillip Paske are both from Chicago.
    • It has been pointed out by some followers of Faded Out that Yellow Bag sounds remarkably like Jeff Gannon.
    • Iowa Cold Cases post on photos from the Johnny Gosch case - has comments left by Yellow Bag in November 2018 that are uncharacteristically aggressive, and arguably more like Don Potochny a.k.a. Eugene Gosch
  • Des Moines Register, "Noreen Gosch talks about disappearance of son Johnny Gosch", 2018/09/05 - has Noreen discuss a witness (P.J. Smith) seeing Johnny drop to the ground and thinking he was shot with a stun gun, but acknowledge that stun guns weren't on the market back then

Photos analysis

Other curiosities

  • September 3, 1982 football game at Valley High School to see Johnny's brother play, where Johnny was allegedly approached by a policeman under the bleachers
  • Discrepancies in the witness accounts of the abduction - mostly unfounded, but included for completeness
    • P.J. Smith was originally reported as having seen a silver Ford Fairmont, but by 1988 at the latest, Noreen was reporting that he saw a blue car. A map of the neighborhood with notes on what witnesses saw, included in 1985 congressional testimony, also says that the blue car at 42nd/Ashworth drove around the block to end up Marcourt Lane where P.J. Smith witnessed a car. As Bonacci's own account has just one car despite news articles mentioning the presence of two cars, it is quite likely that Noreen's current account is accurate, with P.J. Smith's initial account either mistaken or coerced; otherwise, how would Noreen and Paul Bonacci have independently come up with the same erroneous information? A LS1TECH forum thread reveals that there is a blue 4-door Ford Fairmont made in 1979, meaning that Bonacci could have been in the backseat as claimed.
    • 2015 Franklin Files posts by The Truth Shall Set You Free
      • "I encourage anyone that wants to know more about the JG cold case to read the Des Moines Register accounts of what transpired from September 5, 1982 on.

        You need to access a microfilm machine at a library and read the accounts presented by the newspaper.

        Here is what I find interesting so far:

        Leonard completed Johnny's route, before informing Noreen of Johnny's disappearance.

        For the first month of coverage, no one came forward with an eyewitness account

        Noreen initially felt the kidnapping was conducted by a religious cult called The Way (Sept 22, 1982)

        The Iowa DCI sent planes out for the search two days after the disappearance

        The family's Dachshund never made a sound, while Johnny talked to a supposed stranger driving a Ford Fairmont

        Leonard has easy access to lime"
      • "Lime slows decomposition, which reduces the stench considerably. Just throwing that out there.

        I forgot to mention the Register reported the day after the disappearance that Leonard found the vacated newspaper wagon and delivered the full load of 37 Sunday editions of the Des Moines Register, instead of going back home to call police. I find that odd.

        There are also discrepancies on the timing of when the Register customers began calling the Gosch home.

        What I'm saying is researching the case has much more relevance than believing the versions of other people in a more than 30 year cold case. I find little evidence from Register accounts that law enforcement was negligent, at least how Noreen paints the negligence picture. Iowa DCI had search planes in the air within a few days of the disappearance.

        We all should be asking questions.I refuse to speculate about the case. I'm just performing research and asking questions."
      • "Forty-eight hours is what matters, not 33 years.

        The answers to the case, albeit none forensic, lie in the first 48 hours.

        If the Register article on September 6, 1982 is accurate, then Leonard gave the abductors 45 minutes more time by delivering Johnny's stack of newspapers. This isn't speculation. This is what I have read.

        I'm have only scratched the surface.

        The most accurate accounts of any crime by eyewitnesses occur immediately after the crime. Anything else, is simply embellishment."
      • "One more thing...

        The sun has risen on September 5 at 6:44 am for the most part (give or take a couple of minutes) since Johnny's disappearance. I plan to see what I can see at 6:44 am sometime around the 5th of Speedometer 2015. I have a feeling I won't be able to see anything much, unless its within 10 or so feet away from me.



        Eyewitness accounts, which didn't come forward for weeks, seem to have little ground to stand on in the dark. Johnny picked his papers up at 6:00 am and most likely disappeared within 15 minutes of that. The reason nobody saw a damn thing was because it was dark.

        Well, I plan to check that out over the Labor Day weekend. Moreover, I surmise the street lights now put out much more light than they did back in the day."
    • 2015 Franklin Files posts by The Truth Shall Set You Free
      • "Martin and Gosch both disappeared on the morning of the first time they went out solo to deliver newspapers. That is the connection, not something that Noreen creates in her obviously crazy like a fox mind.

        And I mean that as a compliment, Noreen. You've conned a lot of people into your version of events. The fact is, the charges that you made against law enforcement never made the light of day during the first few critical hours of the investigation.

        How does Leonard live with himself? He delivered Johnny's newspapers, before coming home to inform you of the problem. What other father does that? I would have high tailed it home the second I saw the wagon unattended.

        Answer me Noreen, and this time, you are not dealing with a nut job like Shurter."
      • "I do not care about Noreen. She's had her say. I've simply researched the case from the beginning, well, at least from September 5, 1982. I'm only about six weeks in, and I have to say, Noreen had a lot of interesting claims at the time that were not true.

        I would like to know how a "normal housewife," as she has maintained throughout her scripted appearances, suddenly appears on Good morning America six weeks after the disappearance. There were hundreds of grieving families throughout the country at the time that lost children to abductions. Why Noreen?

        As Desi said in the I Love Lucy Series, Noreen "has some splaining" to do about Leonard."
      • "Thank you for your response TakingCues. By facts, I'm only referring to what I've read in the Des Moines Register from information presented on microfilm. By Noreen's account, the Des Moines Register did a poor job of presenting the facts, especially early on. It wasn't until Frank Santiago began writing about the case the Noreen back ed down a bit."
      • "I don't want to diminish Shurter's contribution to exposing Noreen as a fraud. I simply prefer to get to the heart of the matter, and the heart of the matter starts on September 5, 1982

        You have to wrap your arms around what transpired on the morning of September 5, 1982, at 6:00 in the morning, when the day is still dark.

        Start with the dog. Please tell me who takes a miniature dachshund on a paper route. Johnny already had his plate full, the mini dachshund does not make sense. If you need proof, live with one for a few days. The breed needs to be on a short leash during a walk, without any distractions for the walker, in daylight.

        I assume delivering newspapers has some level of distraction.

        Agreed?

        And not a mini dachshund, or most other breeds, simply walks home, when varmints rule the dawn.

        Research the breed. The smoking gun is the lie told about the dog."
      • "And it gets even better, as I move at a snail's pace reading the Register's coverage of this case. On October 29, 1982, the Register ran a story promoting Leonard and Noreen creating posters for local businesses to hang across Iowa and hopefully throughout the country. As usual, the Noreen became the headline again when she claimed two psychics stated that Johnny's body can be found near an interstate, creek, two churches, a silo, and a water tower. The two psychics-one from Winterset. and one from Minneapolis told the same story, but not to the parents collectively. Each parent received the same information for a different psychic.

        On Saturday October 20, 1982, Leonard leads a search team to search for Johnny in an area that resembles the psychic "perspective." No body is found at the section of rural area between Hickman and University Avenue adjacent to Interstate 35/80.

        But wait...I know of another area where all of the psychic predictions comes true. I lived here in 1982 and I am back again.

        Care to venture where that area is, Noreen? Could it below the hill you live on in West Des Moines?"
      • "Well Cue, you just have to wonder how Noreen muscled her way to the national spotlight (20/20) within six weeks of the kidnapping. Hundreds, if not thousands of parents missing their children and suddenly, the woman from West Des Moines has a front row seat with David Hartman.

        The only conspiracy here is the one that involves both parents, regardless if they killed Johnny or simply conspired to make it happen.



        My best guess is that Johnny sleeps under the dirt somewhere along 8th street in West Des Moines, by Walnut Creek, two churches, an interstate, and a few silos. The only thing missing is a water tower, but I plan to see if one was there in 1982 by soliciting the help of the West Des Moines archives."
    • 2015 and 2018 comments by Don Potochny on a socrates post about the Johnny Gosch abduction
      • "You have to wrap your arms around what transpired on the morning of September 5, 1982,at 6:00 in the morning, when the day is till dark.

        Start with the dog. Please tell me who take a miniature dachshund on a paper route. Johnny already had is plate full, the mini dachshund does not make sense. If you need proof, live with one for a few days. The breed needs to be on a short leash during a walk, without any distractions for the walker.

        I assume delivering newspapers has some level of distraction.

        Agreed?

        And not mini dachshund, or most other breeds, simply walks home, when varmints rule the dawn."
    • 2015/08 comments on Reddit by doghousereiley (Chris Birge) claiming that Johnny actually went to 42nd and Marcourt to pick up his papers
      • "this movie has many factual errors Mostly about the morning Johnny was taken The filmmakers did not talk to anyone who actually saw johnny that morning. The five people saw johnny before he was taken that morning none where interviewed. John Rizzi is obviously lying. Johnny picked up his papers on the corner of 42nd and marcourt not on the corner of ash worth. johnny walked up marcourt to 42nd not through the church yard as the movie states 5 people saw him pulling his wagon on marcourt no one saw hi pulling his wagon through the church yard Johnny had no reason to go this way it was longer and much harder to pull a wagon through rough terrain"
      • "it is wrong. the filmmakers ignored the truth. John Rizzo is lying he never saw johnny. The filmmakers emailed the paper boy who spoke to johnny that morning they decided not to interview him."
      • "I was there I saw Johnny 3 minutes before he was taken. I was leaving to delivery my papers with my brother and father. Johnny wagon was found in front of my house. When I returned from my paper route I ran to johns wagon and saw the newspapers not delivered. I told my dad and he just shrugged an went into the house I spoke to my father who drove me on my route for safety and my friend who was the other paper carrier passing Johnny that morning. He corroborated my story. Johnny never made it to Ashworth road"
      • "Yes I was questioned several times. I last saw him where his wagon was found but he was traveling east toward 42nd. No from what it appears to me after I saw him he walked east past one house (maybe 300ft) got his papers turned around and walked west past the same house and stopped. That is where I saw his wagon an hour later"
      • "the hand drawn map? Johnny wagon was found on the sidewalk of the southside of Marcourt Lane. From the wagons finally location Johnny was pulling west down Marcourt. His wagon was found on side walk net to driveway of 4204. According to the map he was taken right where the car is shown"
    • Film career of Chris Birge: IMDB page on Christopher Birge: "Christopher Birge was born on February 27, 1972 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. He is known for his work on 2nd Team, Sons of Thunder (1999) and Walker, Texas Ranger (1993). He has been married to Ackie Adams since November 11, 2006. They have two children"; IMDB full credits for Walker, Texas Ranger
    • CheckThem results for Kevin Boesen in West Des Moines IA - aged 46 as of 2018/06/22; address is 4205 Francrest Cir
    • West Des Moines Express, "Named to Drake honor roll", 1982/07/08: "Judith Boesen, 4205 Francrest Circle;"
    • Des Moines Register, home sales, 1987/04/08: "Daniel J. and Judith A. Boesen to Douglas A. and Sally A. Orr, 4205 Francrest Circle, $87,500"
    • 2016/12/19 comment by DPOTOCHNY@YAHOO.COM on the Charley Project blog post about Johnny Gosch: "Discrepancies abound in the Gosch case. Watch “Who Took Johnny” and see one of the biggest discrepancies of all. During an interview with Leonard Gosch, he states that he found Johnny’s wagon empty two blocks from home. Yet, in several other accounts. Leonard found the wagon full of Sunday Des Moines Registers.

      The best part is Leonard claims he delivered the wagon full of newspapers. Pleas let me know if you know any parents that would finish a paper route knowing his or her son has disappeared.

      Just the tip of the iceberg. How many paper boys took dogs on them during their paper delivery routes. And Johnny’s dog was a dachshund."
    • IRS details on Help Find Johnny Gosch Inc. (EIN 42-1194024) - had its tax exempt status revoked on 2011/03/15 for "not filing a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years"
  • 2012 Franklin Files post about a Youtube commenter (joemoe23 / joseph hernandez) who claims that his mother saw Johnny Gosch with "Emilio" and Paul Bonacci at ShowBiz Pizza in 1983 - "Paul Bonacci was a victim of these people just as much as any of these other boys. I think a little compassion is in order for somebody who bravely came out. Anyways, in 1983, a few months after Johnny Gosch was kidnapped my mother see him at a showbiz pizza (chuke cheese now) with Paul Bonacci and the hispanic driver. after the 3 had left bonacci ran back in and told them to call the police and then he ran back. The fbi showed up but nothing ever happened. She didn't know who they were until I asked her about it just a few months ago. I remember when we were young she said she saw a little missing paper boy from Iowa at her job. When I heard about the franklin cover up I heard the name Johnny Gosch and then the rest is history. So at least he did try in that instance. Paul Bonacci lives in a hell most people couldn't even fathom." - might be the same sighting reported by Todd Bequette
  • 1991 radio interview with John Zielinski and others - says "Johnny Gosch was photographed three weeks before he was kidnapped"; claims that NAMBLA's church deposited $5 million in the Franklin Credit Union; Judianne Densen-Gerber says that in 1990, Bonacci sent her a letter claiming that NAMBLA leader David Thorstad, at the Starlight Inn in New York on December 28, 1982 (a day when there indeed was a NAMBLA press conference in New York), mentioned Gerber as someone who needed to be eliminated
  • Serial killer suspects
    • John Joubert, a serial killer in Omaha who was a radar technician at Offutt AFB, abducted and murdered 13-year-old newspaper carrier Danny Joe Eberle of Bellevue NE. While the M.O. is similar to that of Johnny Gosch's abductor, Joubert was living in Maine in 1982, and the murder of a Portland ME boy which occurred two weeks before the Gosch abduction was attributed to Joubert. There is evidence (see page) that Joubert was part of an occult network in Omaha.
    • Bob Berdella, a serial killer in Kansas City MO almost certainly linked to a local underground of drug distribution and sex trafficking. An FBI tip suggested that Eugene Martin's body was buried on Berdella's property, and the police in Des Moines sent dental records of both Johnny and Eugene for comparison.
      • newspaper unknown, title unknown, 1988/04/??: "Numerous subsequent excavations of Berdella's front and back yards did not turn up any other significant evidence. Several police officials said that one front yard dig was prompted by an FBI tip that a missing Des Moines, Iowa newsboy was buried there. Police said they took the tip lightly but dug anyway."
      • Salina Journal, "Another skull linked to Kansas City man", 1988/04/12 (pages 11 OCR): "[Sgt. Laura] Mulloy said police in Des Moines, Iowa, who have been investigating the disappearance of newspaper boys Johnny Gosch, missing since 1982, and Eugene Martin, missing since 1984, were sending records. "When we get them, we'll make a comparison," she said."
  • Jeff Gannon / Jim Guckert / James Guckert / James D. Guckert / James Dale Guckert suspicion
  • 2008 Franklin Files post by Jimmy Gibson suggests Johnny is on the LCO (Lac Courte Oreilles in Wisconsin) reservation
  • Did Johnny Gosch die in Fort Collins CO shortly after visiting Noreen? EDIT: Probably not him after all, but was a worthwhile lead.
    • Reddit thread matching Gosch to 1997 Doe in Colorado
    • Doe Network page on 174UMCO (discovered July 11 or 12, 1997)
    • Similarities: facial appearance; hair color (light/reddish brown); found in Colorado where Johnny was once trafficked; described as a transient, which matches with Johnny being on the run; the hair was grown out and braided, which matches with the stated attempt to blend in and hide out on Indian reservations; death was only 3 months after visiting Noreen; gap between the two front teeth like Johnny had; teeth showed "evidence of good orthodontic work", matching with Bonacci's claim in a 1991/10/29 article that Johnny got braces during his captivity
  • Noreen reports in a 2013 Franklin Files post that Johnny is still alive and might have kids
  • Ted Gunderson claims Noreen said Sandi Caradori told her that Gary Caradori was investigating Johnny Gosch
  • Lincoln Star, "Council Bluffs Lounge Is Sued", 1976/04/21 - just as Bonacci claimed, an uncle of his (Pete Bonacci) owned the Joker Lounge
  • Rapid City Journal, "Mitchell company buys Deadwood’s Bullock Hotel", 2011/07/07 - just as Jimmy Gibson claimed, Loran Schmit's daughter (Mary Schmit) owned the Bullock Hotel in Deadwood SD starting in 1989
  • According to Arizona State University, "ASU professor gives aging community new life", Mary Schmit was the general manager for Venture Out in Mesa
  • June 2018 email correspondence with Mary Schmit
    • "George ... well to be really honest I can’t recall that ... BUT it doesn’t mean that It didn’t happen.. my Dad or others were always referring people to my hotel.. I would think in this instance they would not have explained who he was .. just that he was a friend... at that time my father and Johnny D got many death threats and sometimes they were aimed at their families.. I JUST watched the ‘ Who took Johnny ‘ film with my Dad last week .. I will ask him if he recalls doing that.. what are you doing? Trying to Finally get the truth out on this ugly story? Is it not interesting that we are now hearing about human trafficking in the US .. but back then they refused to listen??"
    • "Or Threatening their lives and their families lives ... the standing joke in the Legislature was “ whose going to go out and start Schmit’s car”... Dad and Johnny D discovered abuse by Priests before anyone else .. and as a result they tried to destroy them... one Monsignor infamously told my Aunt after Mass one day that “ your brother will burn in Hell for what he is saying about priests”. He told me the other day our parish priest at the time told Mom she should divorce him.. you can only imagine what that dynamic was like in our home. The movie ‘Spotlight’ missed the actual first exposure."
    • "I did talk to my Dad, he too could not recall anyone ever staying at the Bullock during that time period. BUT he agreed with me that if Johnny D had put someone up in the hotel for a while, Johnny would have said it was a ‘friend’ and not necessarily divulged who it was. There were so many threats at that time. Ask him to describe the hotel and the room he was in, if he recalls and I could verify that. Many people would have walked through the hotel, but would not necessarily have seen the rooms... and how long was he supposedly there? We never had anyone stay for much longer than a week as it was a vacation destination. I had many people in that hotel over the years, celebrities as well as mid westerners.. so remembering any one particular guest would be difficult. [...] And yes, My Dad was calling us at the height of the committee investigations, telling us all to be very careful as they not only threatened him, they threated his family. Nice bunch of people."
    • "I read that entire string... Funny back then no one was talking “ right wing fundamentalist Christians” When this first broke Bush was in the White House ... and A Republican Catholic.. Hell two of them .. Bernice Labedz too were listening to what those kids had to say ... and did not try to cover up this mess.... well like I said .. it’s entirely possible that Johnny D put him up in the Hotel for a while.. my sister who ran the front desk might remember.. but no one would have made it public knowledge I suspect... and with all that is in the news these days this is sadly is no longer a Stretch of the imagination... And my experience in life… It is often times the most respected members of society that have the deepest and darkest secrets... look at all the Priests .."
  • Roy Stephens controversy
    • Missing Youth Foundation background
    • Jill Cutshall abduction - more on the Franklin page
      • Series of articles on the Jill Cutshall case - reveals that Stephens was an investigator at the Interstate Bureau of Investigation, and one of his partners was Diane Robinette (the alleged Noreen impersonator)
      • Des Moines Register, "Witness: Phelps spoke about missing girl in interview", 1991/03/12 (pages 4m OCR): "Frustrated with the lack of progress, Stephens took a handgun from an assistant and fired a shot into the air. The assistant, Diane Robinette, testified Monday that before the shot was fired, Stephens had handed Phelps a shovel and said, "I want you to find Jill." Phelps responded, "I'd be glad to help you, but I don't know where she is," Robinette said. The three walked around the park with Phelps 10 feet in the lead. "Every now and then, Roy would holler, 'Where's Jill?' and David would keep walking," she said. Stephens reached for the gun, fired a shot in the air and said, "300-pound men don't like taking nature walks." She said Phelps appeared to be startled by the noise. Phelps agreed to talk, led Stephens to a nearby cemetery, then went to the Norfolk motel for the interview."
      • Des Moines Register, "Investigator testifies he lied to grand jury", 1991/03/13 (pages 6m OCR) - reveals Stephens admitted lying to the grand jury
    • Diane Robinette as the Noreen impersonator
    • From Ch.17 of Other Altars: Roots and Realities of Cultic and Satanic Ritual Abuse and Multiple Personality Disorder by Craig Lockwood: "Child-recovery specialist Roy Stephens, named in Forbes magazine in 1991 as the "best in the business," an old associate of DeCamp's, was conducting an independent investigation of a missing boy. Following a lead, he interviewed Bonacci in prison. Bonacci apparently knew, in concise detail, what had happened to the child; he had been present when the boy was kidnaped. Bonacci told Stephens he also knew about the Jordan, Minnesota, child-abuse ring mentioned in Chapter 1. This was the case that former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey's son Hubert Humphrey, Jr., then attorney general of Minnesota, had dismissed citing "insufficient evidence." Bonacci knew the leaders' names and could describe the location. He had been there, as well. Stephens, however, enjoys a non-Forbes-rated reputation with Sergeant Larry Lawson of the Martin County, Florida, District Attorney's Criminal Investigations Division. According to Sgt. Lawson, a noted specialist in crimes against children, Stephens was implicated in a case Lawson was working on, involving an alleged child-abducting father from California. The father claimed his child had been molested by none other than "Uncle Mikey," Michael Aquino, mentioned in Chapter 1, who was a suspect in the Presidio Day Care child molestation case."
      • Press Democrat, "Search puts focus on abuse group", 1993/02/10 (pages 1b, 2b): "Some original members of LINK have quit, saying It Is too extreme. Some have joined the new Santa Rosa chapter of the more mainstream "Missing Children's Foundation." Its founder, nationally acclaimed private investigator Roy Stephens of Nebraska, was guest speaker at a LINK program in Santa Rosa last October. He and LINK shortly thereafter parted company. Stevens would say only that he objected that LINK was soliciting donations as a "non-profit" organization when it did not have tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service."
      • Press Democrat, "Mystery clouds child-stealing case", 1993/02/11 (pages 1b, 2b): "Authorities also went to Linda Issel's home in Santa Rosa. There, according to the reports, they found house guest Roy Stephens of Nebraska. Stephens knows Issel through her membership in the Sonoma County chapter of the Missing Youth Foundation. Stephens is the group's founder and national director. LINK and the local Missing Youth Foundation chapter are not on friendly terms, but Issel belonged to both and served as treasurer of both. Her estranged husband said she became involved in the issue of ritual child abuse after being invited to a LINK meeting last fall. The court papers said Stephens, who stayed at Issel's house while working with the Missing Youth Foundation chapter, told authorities that Tscherneff and Issel told him recently they might flee with Alex. But, a district attorney's investigator wrote, Stephens "thought he had talked them out of the idea." Stephens, too, said he did not know where the couple went with the boy, the papers said. A district attorney's investigator wrote that Stephens told authorities that Tscherneff was "manipulative, constantly pushing Linda emotionally." Neither Stephens nor Millar could be reached for comment Wednesday."
      • Press Democrat, "Dad on the run", 1993/03/14 (pages 1, 9): "In a videotape that Tscherneff produced on Feb. 14 while on the lam, he refers to something called "the Monarch Project." Other LINK members, too, speak often about the Monarch Project. They refer to a paper written by Mark Phillips, a resident of Kentucky who spoke at a LINK presentation in Petaluma one day before Tscherneff took off. Tscherneff attended that meeting. [...] In his videotape warning parents about the Monarch Project, Tscherneff said more proof of a nationwide child-abuse conspiracy is available in a 1992 book by a Nebraska lawyer and former state senator named John DeCamp."
      • 2018/06/03 email reply from Larry Lawson: "I remember that case well and have had recent need to revisit it for other reasons. The Gentleman from California was Peter Tscherneff. I do recall the name Roy Stephens but do not recall his level of involvement. I have no recollection of being in contact with him at all. Craig Lockwood is a fine researcher and a great guy. I haven't spoken with him in years but he would be the best source of information on this."
      • 'X' Zone directory entry for Lawrence F. "Larry" Lawson - specializes in "Paranormal Investigations" as well as "Cults and Deviant Groups Investigations"; former criminal investigator in the state attorney's office (1984/08 to 1993/02) and Sgt. in the Martin County Sheriff's Department (1993/03 to 1995/11)
      • p.97-102 of Cover-up of the Century by Daniel Ryder recounts a 1987 mass child abuse case at the Glendale Montessori School in Stuart FL which was investigated by Larry Lawson. The alleged perpetrators included James Toward, his wife Rosario (with whom he ran the school), and a secretary at the school. Heading a subsequent private investigation was Skip Clements, also later involved in the Finders case. Palm Beach Post, "Jury in civil suit won't hear about molestation victims", 1996/03/02 fills in the name of the secretary / office manager as Brenda Williams.
  • dizzydazze (Sheila Marie Guerra of Albert Lea MN) allegations
  • 2016 Franklin Files post by AeroZeppelin says as a former unequivocal believer of hers that some of David Shurter's attacks on Noreen Gosch have merit
  • 2017/12/23 post by "Rich from Tragedy" untruthfully accuses the Gosch family of lying about the abduction
  • Other paperboy abductions / attacks / abduction attempts near Des Moines IA
  • 2008 Franklin Files about Barney Frank signing a copy of Why Johnny Can't Come Home
  • 2009 Franklin Files about how Ronald Reagan was totally unhelpful in the Gosch investigation

Related cases

  • Kevin Collins a.k.a. Kevin Andrew Collins - in 1984 from San Francisco CA
    • San Francisco Examiner, "Second report on Kevin offers 'slim' hopes of breakthrough", 1984/03/01: "The Kevin Collins volunteers, headed by the boy's uncle, Michael Deasy of San Ramon, continued their push to locate the youngster who vanished after basketball practice the evening of Feb. 10. The boy missed his ride home with a family friend and was last reported seen half an hour later at the corner of Oak and Masonic streets in San Francisco.

      With him on the corner, witnesses said, was a 6-foot tall man with short blond hair and a large black dog, possibly a great Dane. The witnesses, one an adult who knows Kevin well, said Kevin was not talking with the man but appeared interested in his dog. Kevin was known to have sought out dog owners in the past so he could pet their dogs."
    • San Francisco Examiner, "Keeping the faith for Kevin Collins", 1984/08/12 (pages 1b, 2b)
  • Michaela Joy Garecht a.k.a. Michaela Garecht abduction - in 1988 from Hayward CA
    • San Francisco Examiner, "9-year-old's adventure turns into a nightmare", 1988/11/21 (pages 1, 18)
    • Associated Press, "Mother Of Kidnapped Girl Remains Hopeful; Manhunt Continues", 1988/11/21: "Michaela and Trina Rodriguez, 8, had ridden scooters to the market to buy soda and candy. When they emerged, Michaela’s red scooter, which she had borrowed from Trina’s brother, was missing. Trina told police that while Michaela was looking for her scooter, a man with dirty-blond, shoulder-length hair beckoned to her and told her it was by his car. When she went to retrieve the scooter, Trina said, the man grabbed Michaela by the waist, forced her into his car and drove away on a heavily traveled boulevard."
    • San Jose Mercury News, "Abduction of 9-year-old Michaela Garecht haunts Hayward 20 years later", 2008/11/19: "Michaela’s friend immediately ran back to the market for help and a clerk subsequently called police to report the kidnapping. The clerk — who thought she had seen the man drive by earlier — offered a wrong description to a police dispatcher, according to Dennis J. Oliver, a former reporter who covered the case for The Daily Review. Oliver, now 45, reviewed 911 tapes during his coverage and recalls the dispatcher relaying a description provided by the store clerk who said “I seen him earlier.” “Never did she say ‘I witnessed the kidnapping’,” Oliver said during a phone interview Tuesday. The false description that went out to police and the public was a white male in his 30s with a mustache and driving a burgundy car. But it wasn’t until after police interviewed Michaela’s friend that they were able to release a composite sketch of the suspect and a new description of the vehicle two days later."
    • Physical evidence of the abductor
      • CNN, "NANCY GRACE: Who Took Michaela Garecht?", 2011/02/03: "CASAREZ: I`m Jean Casarez. We have with us tonight the lead investigator on the Michaela Garecht case, Rob Lampkin, from the Hayward Police Department joining us from San Francisco. Inspector, is it true that you found a palm print on the scooter?

        LAMPKIN: Yes, there was a palm print recovered from the scooter.

        CASAREZ: Have you been able to compare that palm print with palm prints of your top persons of interest?

        LAMPKIN: We have, but you have to remember with the palm print, we`re not sure it is the suspect`s palm print."
    • Richard Helwig and NAMBLA connection
      • Sharon Murch, "So what now?", 2013/01/27: "There was a man in the 1980's who was involved in trafficking of child pornography between the United States and Mexico. His name was Richard Helwig. In March 1989 he was stopped at the border as he was returning from a trip to Mexico, and he was discovered to have child pornography in his vehicle, along with cut-outs of articles about Michaela and Amber Swartz, who had gone missing here in the Bay Area just a few months before Michaela. An investigation was carried out by ICE or CBP or whatever incarnation of immigration authorities were in charge at that time. Helwig had a girlfriend in Mexico who had two daughters who were both deaf. Authorities interviewed the girlfriend, who possessed earrings like the ones Michaela was wearing. She said Helwig had given them to her, but later changed her story and said that she got them from the flea market. Not impossible, as those earrings were as common as dust back in those days. She also said that Helwig had given her a tee-shirt like the one Michaela had been wearing, although this shirt was apparently not turned up in a search.

        The two daughters were also interviewed, separately, and each girl independently verified that both Michaela and Amber had been there, in Mexico. (Note that Amber's case was closed by the Pinole Police Department, based on a confession by Curtis Dean Anderson. However, there was no evidence to back up Anderson's confession and there is every possibility that he had ulterior motives. There are many for whom Amber's case is far from closed.) Helwig went to prison, where he died of AIDS. In prison, even on his death bed, he continued to be questioned by authorities about Michaela's case. They tried to get information, to get a confession. Helwig refused to talk, would neither admit nor deny any knowledge of or involvement with Michaela's kidnapping.

        And so today this remains yet another unanswered question. This is just one example, by the way, of the leads that have not been released to the public. Many have set their sites on Herzog or Garrido because of all the publicity, but that is because they have not heard about Helwig, or others."
      • Customs Today, "Case Study in Child Pornography" by Anneva DeConto and James Schield, 1991 winter (pages 22, 23, 24)
        • "Also found was a scrap of paper with a notation written in Spanish discussing services for deaf children and a newspaper section with an article featuring little girls abducted from the San Francisco area. Notations were made on the article: One of the girls was abducted near her home in Pinole, California, which is where Helwig's brother resides."
        • "A criminal check on Helwig revealed a long history of violations against children. Each time he had been arrested, the charges had been reduced or dismissed."
        • "Special Agent Kathleen Wright of the SAC/San Francisco office contacted the SAC/San Diego office and advised that the address given by Helwig had been the subject of a search warrant by the San Francisco Police Department in October 1987.

          The address was the front for the San Francisco chapter of NAMBLA. Wright had information concerning Helwig's long history with the judicial system."
        • "On March 10 Helwig's attorney filed a motion for a bail review which caused Helwig's bail to be changed from $10,000 cash or corporate surety to $10,000 personal surety. Helwig posted $500 cash and with a friend from San Francisco co-signing the bond he was released."
        • "Among the personal effects of Helwig were copies of birth certificates for a boy, age 12 and a girl, age 8; a notarized letter from the children's mother giving Helwig permission to take the children into the United States for medical treatment; and a notarized letter from the mother giving permission for the children to receive an international visa."
        • "On September 6, 1989, U.S. Customs Representative Miguel Briseno of Hermosillo, Mexico, and Special Agent Elias Bazan of the SAC/San Diego office went in search of the little girl in the photographs. They were armed with addresses, copies of the notarized letters and pictures taken from Helwig's vehicle. On September 8 Briseno and Bazan practically ran into the little girl, nicknamed “Paloma,” on the beach in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico. The little girl is a deaf mute, as is her brother Reyes, but both can communicate.

          The mother is a local prostitute who runs a bar out of her home. At the time the agents met the mother she was wearing earrings identical to ones worn by the little girl abducted in Hayward, California. The mother told the agents that Helwig gave them to her; she later recanted the statement, saying she bought them at a local flea market.

          On September 12 the agents accompanied the family to San Diego. The mother was shown the pictures of Paloma, but she showed no emotion. The children were interviewed at the Child Protective Service at Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

          The interview was conducted with the use of anatomically correct dolls. With a picture associated with each doll, the children indicated Helwig took the pictures in the camper. They also showed how Helwig had sexually abused them. Two of the dolls had the pictures of the missing girls associated with them; the children pointed to the girls, to Helwig and then to the vehicle."
      • From p.346 of Brother Tony's Boys by Mike Echols (1996):

            Detective Wolff also provided me with information on another earlier police item dealing with a NAMBLA member: On March 8, 1989, pedophile Richard Helwig crossed the border at San Ysidro, California, in a motorhome on his way home from his annual winter stay in Mexico. The man appeared nervous to U.S. Immigration Inspector Carlos Quevedo and was therefore referred to a secondary customs inspection station. During that search U.S. Customs Inspector Mark Chapman found a blue metal box with sixty photographs of nude children inside along with a photo album with an additional seventy-one photographs of nude children. And behind that cache were still more photographs with children exposing their genitals; copies of the Bulletin; and twenty videotapes of children's shows interspersed with adult pornographic material, apparently to be used as lures to entice children into believing that such sexual behavior was acceptable.
            The agents did a criminal check on Helwig and discovered a long history of arrests for criminal sexual molestation of children, but that time after time the charges had been reduced or dismissed. And when Customs agents opened Helwig's address book they found notations about age of consent laws for boys and girls in different countries, information about laws regarding what constitutes child pornography, and Helwig's U.S. address, which was identical to that of the NAMBLA's San Francisco chapter, an address which was the subject of search warrant by San Francisco Police in October 1987.
         
      • According to one source (MyLife page), Helwig once resided at 774 Myra Way, which is interesting because 410 Myra Way was allegedly a residence of "Emilio" suspect Roger Dean Matice
      • Contemporaneous news articles
        • Lincoln Journal Star, "Speeding at night", 1959/06/27: "Richard A. Helwig, 23, 4720 Randolph, $15."
        • Lincoln Journal Star, "Man Is Fined In Fondling", 1959/09/09: "A 23-year-old handyman at a local children's home was fined $150 by Judge Herbert A. Ronin in Lancaster County Court on two charges of disturbing the peace. He is Richard Helwig, 23, of Washington. D. C., who was charged with fondling two small girls at the home between Feb. 1 and Sept. 1. Helwig pleaded innocent to both counts."
        • Salina Journal, "Helwig Put On Probation", 1962/08/17: "Richard R. Helwig, who pleaded guilty in 1960 to a morals charge in Saline County district court, Thursday was put on probation by the court. Helwig, who pleaded guilty to attempting to induce two girls, 11 and 15, to commit an immoral act, has been committed to the Larned State Hospital for treatment. Upon his release he was returned to district court for sentencing. His motion to suspend imposition of sentence and for probation was approved and he was put on probation for three years."
        • Salina Journal, "Charged With Parole Violation", 1964/06/10: "A bench issued by warrant has been the Saline County District Court against Richard R. Helwig who now is in the Wichita jail. Helwig will be returned here on the warrant which was issued for alleged violation of parole. He pleaded guilty to an enticement charge in 1960 and was sentenced to one to five years in the Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing. This judgment was then commuted to the same term at Larned State Hospital at Larned. On Aug. 6, 1962, he was paroled for a term of three years."
        • Salina Journal, "Two Defendants Bound Over", 1965/07/06: "The district court has released Richard A. Helwig from probation. He was granted a 3-year parole Aug. 16, 1962, after pleading guilty Sept. 22, 1960, to an enticement charge and spending nearly two years at the Larned State hospital."
        • Austin American, "Austin Man Charged In Kidnaping", 1966/11/29: "Warrants for the arrest of an Austin man charged with kidnaping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor have have been issued by Justice of the Peace Buck Smith at the request of Austin police and the Travis Conty Sheriff's office. Richard Helwig, 31, of Rt. 4, Box 331, is charged by Detective Sgt. Jim Beck with kidnaping and by Deputy Sheriff Walter Eckhard with contributing to the delinquency of a minoor in connection with the disappearance of two youngsters. The 6-year-o!d girl and her 9-year-old brother were returned safely Sunday night after having been missing from their home since Friday."
    • Amber Swartz-Garcia a.k.a. Amber Swartz - in 1988 from Pinole CA
      • The Californian, "Parents hopeful after reports list sightings of missing girl", 1988/09/21: "Lt. John Miner, of the Pinole Police Department, said his de partment received one phone call "every five to 10 minutes" until Tuesday, after the department confirmed Monday that a Sacramento couple may have spoken to Amber in Camp Connell, a town about 100 miles north of where Amber vanished. A woman in this Calaveras County town north of Angels Camp told police that a girl walked up to her on Aug. 12 and identified herself as Amber Swartz-Garcia before she disappeared with an unknown couple accompanying her. Miner said. Police and FBI agents have spent several days in the town questioning residents and showing them composite drawings of the couple. They have not found any significant leads. Miner said. "We canvassed the area trying to locate these people, but we've not had any luck at all," Miner said. Investigators still have a list of vacationers in the area they plan to check, hoping the couple may have been among them. Miner said. The woman who saw the girl did not tell police about it until two days later, when she returned home to Sacramento. She did not know who Amber was until she saw the girl's picture on a milk carton. Police, however, did not investigate right away because they twice failed to take the woman's name and phone number when she called, Miner said."
    • Phillip Garrido as a suspect
    • Timothy Bindner as a suspect - some parallels to Sam Soda
      • ...
    • Other Northern California abductions from that time period
      • San Francisco Examiner, "Kidnap attempt fails in South City", 1989/01/24: "Police said they were still without leads Tuesday in the attempted kidnapping of the 15-year-old daughter of a South City police detective. Maryanne Sullivan, the intended victim, suffered a broken foot and a twisted back as she fell to the ground when the attacker's car bumped her bicycle while she attempted to evade him. Sgt Mike Guglielmoni, a police spokesman, said Tuesday that there was no indication the incident was related to work being done by her father, Patrick Sullivan, the department's chief investigator in child-abuse and sexual assault cases. Police also believe there is no connection to the Michaela Garecht kidnapping. The attempted kidnapping occurred Thursday afternoon as the girl rode her bike on Shannon Drive. She described the man as a male in his late 20s or early 30s, with greasy collar-length black hair."
      • San Francisco Examiner, "Suspect flees after girl foils kidnap try", 1989/02/05: "Police are looking for a man who they say may have been trying to kidnap a 14-year-old girl as she twirled a baton near her Union City home. A police spokeswoman said the incident occurred about 2:40 p.m. Saturday. The girl told police an unidentified white male grabbed her in a parking lot in front of her home at the Cherrywood Apartments at 2175 DeCoto Road. She screamed, broke free and ran into the apartment where she lives with her parents. The man took off on foot, said the spokeswoman. No car was spotted at the scene. There were apparently no witnesses. The suspect, about 30, was described as having shoulder-length blond hair and a blond mustache, standing about 6 feet tall and weighing between 190 and 200 pounds. He was wearing a long-sleeve white sweat shirt with the word "Athletics" in green letters. The suspect also was wearing green sweat pants, a green baseball cap and blue and white tennis shoes."
  • Jacob Wetterling abduction - in 1989 from St. Joseph MN
    • shergal, "Updated Who's Who 7/7/2014" - includes "JR - Jim Rothstein: A retired New York Police Detective who spent more than 35 years in the force, much of it investigating child slavery and pedophile rings. He worked on Jacob's case, Johnny Gosch's case, and the Smiley Face Killers cases. He is now Mayor of St. Martin, MN and helping investigate Jacob's case on his own time."
    • New York Times, "Small Town Is Shaken By a Child's Abduction", 1989/10/30
    • Stearns County Sheriff's Office records on the abduction of Jacob Wetterling
      • SCSO 3: on p.39-41 it is mentioned that the St. Joseph police chief gave information on Ken Gatlin and wife Alysa Gatlin, who were "reportedly to be involved in cult activities and witchcraft", as suspects; on p.42 former Minnesota parole board chairman Les Green reported that he was interviewed by "an agent from Minneapolis" (ed. note: possibly FBI?) and Stearns County Sheriff Charlie Grafft regarding the case; on p.120 there is a statement from Donald Clements, a patron at the Tom Thumb store on the night of Jacob's abduction, who saw a man he deemed suspicious that was "approximately 6' tall, 200 lbs., wearing a dark blue jacket" (ed. note: possibly Charlie Kerr?); on p.129 an officer described checking out an abandoned shack with painted messages on the side such as "Take the world by force", "Slave Raider", and satanic symbols; on p.140 there is a description of a man seen in Waite Park at 1 PM on the day of the abduction who was thin, estimated as about 5'9 to 5'10 in height but hunched over, and had shoulder-length blond hair (ed. note: sounds like "Tony" / Paske, though he was also said to be wearing glasses and there is no mention of pockmarks); on p.146-147 there is a summary of an interview with Steven Frederick Schirber on 1989/10/25, who believed that Jacob was "hand picked" for monetary gain and identified as a suspect John Petters, a man living near Big Fish Lake with alleged homosexual tendencies and a close association with Zapp National Bank officer Ed Zapp Jr; left off at p.210
    • Stearns County Sheriff's Office lead sheets on the abduction of Jacob Wetterling
    • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension records on the abduction of Jacob Wetterling
      • BCA Book A: on p.11-18 there is a report of the investigation into Kenneth Gatlin and his wife Alyssia Gatlin: they were trying to give psychic information to the Wetterling parents and began getting viewed as a nuisance, Kenneth mentioned a suspect named Mark with long dark brown hair who lived at 626 8th Avenue South in 1987 and might have had mafia connections, in response to a question about cults Kenneth mentioned a coven in St. Cloud with an apartment on the Sauk River where rituals were practiced and suggested talking to prisoner Tim Erickson (behind the "Vampire" killings) or his girlfriend Lyon or Mark Varner in the county jail; on p.38-39 three men from Sherburne County -- Michael Denfred McCalla, Thomas Henry Schmidt, Douglas Milton Hamacher Jr. -- accused of being in a satanic cult that sacrificed infants are mentioned as possible suspects in Jacob's abduction; on p.109 the Gatlins are described as both alleging abuse, being in a mental hospital, and mentioning an association with the occult
    • Alleged link to the Franklin case
      • St. Cloud Times, "Man claims sex ring took Jacob", 1994/02/03: "On Wednesday, DeCamp made appearances in St Paul and St. Cloud at meetings sponsored by the Schiller Institute, a group affiliated with perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. DeCamp's appearance at the Great River Regional Library attracted about 10 people. "I guarantee nothing," DeCamp said. However, he said, three people involved in the child-sex ring have told him they have spotted a person who looks like Jacob in Madison, Wis., and Council Bluffs, Iowa. He said the ring has been successful in humiliating and brainwashing those it abducts so that they do not want to come home. He declined to name the three people or to give other specifics. On Wednesday, DeCamp met with Jacob's father, Jerry Wetterling, who left the meeting saving he wanted to check further some of DeCamp's claims."
      • St. Cloud Times, "Story laden with lies, half-truths, subject claims" by John W. DeCamp, 1994/02/13
      • EIR, "The Franklin coverup: child abuse, Satanism, and murder in Nebraska", 1994/03/04: "To make a long story short, Jimmy was brought to my office, under careful security. Jimmy had a wealth of information. He validated Paul's story; they recognized each other instantly when they walked into the room. [...] As we investigated further, we learned a lot more and finally got a couple of people to infiltrate this network of kids, who operated primarily out of Madison, Wisconsin and Council Bluffs, Iowa. They were the kidnapped kids-or at least that's what they claimed-and the bad news is, they weren't the sweet, innocent children they were when they were kidnapped. They were simply perpetrators, exactly like the people who had done it in the first place. [...] How was Jacob Wetterling involved? Jimmy, and at least two of the others, had absolutely assured us that Jacob Wetterling was part of the group. We believe we've had people physically present on two occasions when Jacob was there under another name."
    • Warroad MN man - could be Jacob as an adult
      • 2004/09/30 Unsolved Mysteries post by unknown author about an adult man in Warroad MN who perfectly resembles what Jacob Wetterling would have looked like as an adult: "After hundreds of dead end leads since 1989, recently in a small town called Warroad, MN, some folks went to police to turn in a man who they believe is Jacob Wetterling because they are so convinced he is Jacob. This man looks identical to what Jacob would have looked like today, same age, same build, everything is uncanny. His story is that he's been living with this man who he is not related to because his parents abandoned him when he was a child. He has no idea who his real family is and cannot provide a solid identity of who he is or where he came from. They've been trying to get him to do a DNA test but he refuses because he's scared and insists he's not Jacob. Until they do a DNA test they won't really know who he is. God bless his family in this difficult time of not knowing."
      • From p.101 of Finding Jacob Wetterling by Robert M. Dudley (2016): "A new computer generated age progression image Jacob was released in the fall of 2004. The face looked very familiar to employees of Marvin Windows of Warroad, Minnesota, who called authorities claiming it resembled one of their coworkers. When questioned, he denied he was Jacob Wetterling and refused to submit to DNA testing. But his fingerprints were on file in Arizona and he was eliminated."
    • Danny Heinrich background
    • Remains of Jacob Wetterling
    • Link to the murder of Chuckie Mauk
      • From p.218 of SCSO Leadsheets Book Y: "The 1986, Chuckie Mauk case, from Warner Robins, GA, interested me because Panasow's are listed to have lived in Gainesville, GA. Investigators thought that there were similarities to the Wetterling case, that whoever did it may have moved to the Minnesota area. The man in the Chuckie Mauk case drove a large, older model white car. (What years did Panasow live there?)"
      • Websleuths thread on the Chuckie Mauk murder - note that the photo for the person of interest is used on David Shurter's website and appears to resemble Shurter as well as his father
      • True Crime Diary, "A Bike Ride to the Store, But They Never Came Back", 2006/03/29: "No connection has ever been made between the Georgia and Minnesota cases until this writing, most likely because of the distance between the two cities, and lack of solid evidence connecting the crimes. And on the surface it would seem Warner Robins, Georgia and St. Joseph, Minnesota have little in common. But Internet research shows that a niche company in Warner Robins has a direct competitor in St. Cloud, Minnesota, only miles from St. Joseph. The companies describe what they do in almost exactly the same terms. It seems reasonable that someone working at the Warner Robins company wanting to make a move - maybe a quick one - could find similar employment in St. Cloud.

        Warner Robins, Georgia is home to one of the largest air force bases in the United States. The Twin Cities also has ties to the Air Force. Air Reservation Station (934th Airlift wing) is located at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport."
  • 2009 Franklin Files post matching child abduction dates to the full moon: "Johnny Gosch 9/5/82-after full moon (waning moon) banishing Kevin Collins 2/10/84-before full moon (waxing moon) attraction Eugene Martin 8/12/84-after full moon (waning moon) banishing Ricky Chadek 3/23/86-before full moon (waxing moon) attraction Marc Allen 3/29/86-after full moon (waning moon) banishing Michaela Garecht 11/19/88 before full moon (waxing moon) attraction Jacob Wetterling 10/22/89-after full moon (waning moon) banishing Arlin Henderson 7/25/91-before full moon (waxing moon) attraction" (see chart)
  • Christopher Vigil

New investigation

  • Interview transcripts
    • Paul Sparrow (2018/03/05) - discusses irregular law enforcement response by both the FBI and Buena Vista CO / Chaffee County CO police
    • Karla Hall (2018/06/06, 2018/06/08) - confirms Diane Robinette as the woman in the photo (TODO: source and verify) depicted as impersonating Noreen
    • Keith Colwell (2018/06/15, 2018/08/10) - possibly reveals Sam was at the Holiday Inn on Fleur Drive; validates that Window_to_your_heart is his daughter
    • Marty Stacy (2018/06/22) - confirms he was fired around late 2003 or early 2004 after doing a radio interview which included Jim Rothstein
    • Robert Hansel (2018/06/30) - reveals that Caracorp knew about a Johnny Gosch connection by July 1990 (right after Caradori's death) at the latest, and Alisha Owen believed she saw him at a party
    • Eileen Wixted (2018/07/19) - mentions that Jim Strickland found Bonacci credible
    • Diane Robinette (2018/08/21) - gives her account of the David Phelps interrogation; denies being a Noreen impersonator
    • Darron Reimer (2018/09/04, 2018/09/20) - TODO transcribe: tells of his own abuse by a pedophile group in Los Angeles County run by a child pornographer named Guy Strait / Guy Straight who ran the DOM company (which combined into Lyric-DOM / DOM-Lyric); describes seeing LJG at the Green Horse nightclub where adults would go to pick up children for sex; recounts information from Jimmy Gibson concerning LJG's violent (and possibly pedophile) tendencies, a visit to Charlie Kerr's farm to tip him off, and the fact that Charlie was blackmailing LJG
    • Jim Rothstein (2018/09/06) - says the Omaha FBI chief told Orval Cooney to stand down on the morning of the kidnapping; claims that Sam Soda was working for Ruan Trucking in Minnesota at the time of the Wetterling abduction, and was their security director who had gone down to Mexico to clear up an incident when a Ruan truck was busted there transporting children
    • Gordon Gratias (2018/09/06, 2018/11/01) - PRIVATE FOR NOW: verifies Noreen's account of the 1997 joint law enforcement meeting at the Polk County Attorney's Office following Johnny's visit; describes how Sam Soda was a suspect from early on in the investigation
    • Jan Jewell (2018/10/12) - refused an interview
    • Marigail Mullin (2018/07/11, 2018/11/29) - TODO transcribe: says that her husband Thomas Mullin, who was the Woodbury County Attorney in 1993, recalled hearing the name Charlie Kerr from somewhere but denied handling a case about or having any contact with him
    • John Rossi (2018/12/04, 2018/12/11) - TODO transcribe: remains adamant that it was Johnny Gosch who he saw that morning, and says that the boy he knew as Johnny had a wagon and a little dog with him
    • Greg Lund (2019/01/17-18) - shared what little he recalled about the Siouxland connection series: "I remember doing them and interviewing Mrs. Gosch, but nothing of the substance of the reports." and "The name of Charlie Kerr rings a bell, so it’s likely it surfaced in preparations for the stories."
    • Kate Thompson (2019/01/18) - TODO transcribe: says that the "Arrest in Gosch case false" article was written because there was a rumor going around about a Siouxland arrest in the Gosch case and somebody wanted the Sioux City Journal to look into it
    • Dan Friessen (2019/02/25) - TODO transcribe: does not remember Sam Soda being at the Stage Door Lounge, but names the owner as Ron Bergeron, which matches the name of the person "Ron" who Rusty Nelson testified introduced him to Larry King
  • Public records request successes
  • Websleuths and other people contact info
  • Leads to follow up on
    • Can it be verified that John Gosch Sr. threatened suicide a couple months before the abduction while in Raleigh NC and Noreen had to call the police there?
    • Before the abduction, did the police receive a report from a neighbor of the Gosches about someone photographing Johnny?
      • What is the license plate number of the car that was reported to police?
      • If they were seen, what did the photographer look like? (Might it have been Sam Soda?)
    • Is there evidence of the early-morning phone calls to the Gosch household in the weeks leading up to the kidnapping?
    • In 1984, shortly before Eugene Martin's abduction, did Noreen Gosch tell Des Moines Register reporter Frank Santiago that she had a tape of Sam Soda warning her about another paperboy abduction?
    • WebSleuths user Trocaria claims to have seen a man who looked like Johnny on a Denver CO city bus in the summer of 1986, shortly after Bonacci allegedly met him in Colorado (also posted in 2010 on Franklin Files, archive)
    • Since the "Johnny Gosch was here" message written in red nail polish on a Denver CO Mexican restaurant's bathroom wall was found in 1991 by friends of the Gosch family, could it have been written in 1986 like Bonacci claimed?
    • Two people familiar with the Denver area on the FAWcast discussion forum identify the Mexican restaurant as Casa Bonita
    • Did the County Attorney in Sioux City IA investigate Charles A. Kerr and come close to making an arrest in 1993 following the America's Most Wanted broadcast? Public records reveal nothing from that time, so contact the attorney to find out.
    • Can it be verified that Jimmy Gibson escaped with Johnny to his father Richard's house in Milwaukee, and that four months after Johnny left, Jimmy's father saw a TV program about Gosch and contacted Noreen? Richard died in 2008, but maybe the rest of the family will say.
    • Since Jimmy was apparently a repeat runaway who got captured by the sex ring, do there exist missing persons reports for him in Milwaukee?
    • Was Jimmy constantly stopping at phone booths to make collect calls throughout the America's Most Wanted filming, as Noreen says Paul Sparrow and Roy Stephens told her? This would imply that Jimmy was acting as a government informant.
    • What went on at Leonard John Gosch's "hobby farm", provided it even exists, and where did the first references to it originate?
    • Does cppweb have any credibility about being an insider involved with the case? Ask the America's Most Wanted producers, for instance.
    • Is the 20/20 special allegedly made in 1997/98 real, and if so, does Noreen faithfully report the facts about it?
    • Following the Marty Stacy interview, did Noreen receive an anatomically-correct blow-up nude sex doll with a hole blown in the head at her doorstep? She says she made a police report on this, so the West Des Moines police should have records.
    • WebSleuths user greenray claims that around 1987 when they worked at a restaurant in a wealthy part of Chicago, someone left behind a crumpled dollar bill that had "I'm alive Eugene Martin" written on it
  • Failed public records inquiries
    • Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI): No records on Leonard Gosch or John Gosch; unwilling to release records on the Johnny Gosch investigation
    • Polk County Sheriff's Office: No records on Leonard Gosch or John Gosch
    • Milwaukee Police Department: Does not retain records dating back to the 1980s when Jimmy Gibson would have gone missing
    • Woodbury County Attorney's Office: No records on Leonard Gosch/John Gosch or Noreen Gosch; no records on Roy Stephens
    • Raleigh Police Department: No records on Leonard Gosch/John Gosch or Noreen Gosch, and they state quite definitively that they would have retained the records about John threatening suicide if they existed, although they acknowledge "it is possible that an officer was dispatched and went to the address, but did not take a report"
    • Woodbury County Sheriff's Office: No records on Leonard Gosch/John Gosch or Noreen Gosch
    • Colorado Department of Corrections: No records on Charles Crouch, William Crouch, or Gladys Crouch as employees
  • Email correspondence with [ANON]
    • Noreen Gosch was the person who revealed that John Gosch Sr. took $5000 out of his bank account just before the kidnapping: "I GOT THAT INFORMATION FROM NOREEN GOSCH"
    • Jimmy Gibson purportedly joined the Marines in an intelligence capacity and had a DIA email -- Dan.R AT dia.mil -- which he used to threaten [ANON]: "WE DID SOME SNOOPING AND FOUND OUT HE OFTEN USED THE USERNAMES (DAN) ALOT WITH VARIOUS NUMBERS AFTER IT. I ALSO BEING THE WEBMASTER HAD ACCESS TO EVERYONES EMAIL ADDRESSES THEY USED TO REGISTER ON THE WEBSITE. JIMMY USED AN OFFICIAL 100% REAL DIA DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY EMAIL ADDRESS DAN.R@DIA.MIL. HE APPARENTLY HAD AN ALTER EGO NAMED "DAN" HE ALSO JOINED THE MARINES AND WORKED IN A INTELLIGENCE UNIT" and "Jimmy using a DIA email address scared the heck out of me . When i sent him a message and asked him about who is (Dan.R@dia.mil) He flipped out and lost it . He threatened to get his lawyers after me and then he mentioned the town I live in in a threatening way. He also sent me a copy of a letter from his lawyer"
    • Gibson mentioned the "hobby farm" to [ANON] several times, saying that John Gosch Sr. kept evidence of his and other people's crimes hidden under the seat of an old jeep on the farm: "FROM WHAT NOREEN TOLD ME EVERYTHING JIMMY SAID ABOUT THIS FARM WAS TRUE CHARLES A KERR DIED IN 2004 HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE PEDOPHILE GROUP.THE COPS RAIDED THE FARM AND JOHN GOSCH WARNED CHARLIE KERR AND THEY REMOVED ALL OF THE EVIDENCE ETC FROM THERE BEFORE THE COPS GOT THERE.JIMMY SAID HE HAD HIDDEN ALOT OF IT IN A VEHICLE THERE ON THE FARM" and "Yes Noreen told me and others that this farm existed and is a real place but she wasnt aware of it or alot of things her ex husband was involved in. She said that he worked for a sales company and was gone most of the week traveling and would only be home on the weekends. He could have had alot of property all over the country and kept it from Noreen"
    • cppweb on Websleuths was also Jimmy, posting in order to discredit Noreen and others associated with the investigation: "cppweb was Jimmy Gibson posting messages on web sleuths years ago. THATS HIM. We found out thats who he was on web sleuths by getting his location which were the same small town Jimmy lived in at the time in Wisconsin. We also messaged him pretending to be from that area and asked him some questions . Jimmy was not an undercover FBI agent like he said. He was probably a paid blackmailed FBI informant"
    • Jimmy Gibson escaped with Johnny and his Ojibwe heritage allowed them to hide out on reservations: "Jimmy and Johnny Gosch escaped around 1987 from their captors on a ranch in Idaho. They stole a car and traveled to far north Minnesota close to the Canadian border and lived on an American Indian reservation called the White Earth Band of the Ojibwe [...] The Ojibwe is a native American Indian tribe that Jimmy knows well and trusts. He is part Ojibwe indian. They worked as loggers in Minnesota with fake identities . I think Johnny went by the name Mark . When Johnny went to visit his mom Noreen that night in 1997 the other person who was with him that didnt speak was an Ojibwe indian who was sort of Johnnys bodyguard. Johnny had dyed his hair black and grew it very long and had a dark tan to try to blend into the native American indian people"
    • Despite being commonly repeated elsewhere, "the Colonel" does not refer to Michael Aquino: "Yes you are correct the JG in those letters to Paul are Johnny Gosch .Paul confirmed this but Paul told me directly that "The colonel" is NOT Col Aquino. He said "The Colonel " mentioned in those letters is the nickname of one of the pedophiles who bought kids and pimped them and sold them in the South West . Col Micheal Aquino was a mind control programmer.(He was one of Paul's monarch programmers as he calls them). I dont think Col Aquino was buying and keeping kidnapped children or anyone else since he was an active duty Colonel in the US military traveling to military bases and busy most of the time. It doesnt make sense to me how he could keep kidnapped people somewhere . Hes of course guilty and probably has bought children im not making excuses for this evil man" and "on my old website in the chat room that we had. There was a discussion about "The Colonel". Paul Bonacci who was often in the chat room said "The Colonel" was not Lt Col Aquino ."The Colonel" was the nickname of the man who operated one of the child abduction groups that kidnapped children and others all around the US. They were sort of freelancers or independant contractors if you will that worked for wealthy pedophiles (Larry King) and people in the US government.Paul sent a few of us some of the letters that his friends who were abducted in the 1980s sent to him .They mentioned "The Colonel had moved back to Mexico " Now I know that Lt Col Michael Aquino never moved to Mexico He stayed in the San Francisco area and was sometimes stationed in Missouri Colorado and Washington DC. as a US Army Lt Colonel he really couldnt be living in Mexico"
    • A corrupt judge in Nebraska who was involved with Larry King owned a farm in South Georgia used for satanic activities (perhaps related to Harmon Tucker and the plantation used by Harold Andersen and Nick O'Hara), which were linked to the Atlanta child murders: "One of the people in the Johnny Gosch Foundation told me and others that one of the corrupt judges in Nebraska who was a pedophile/satanist in Larry Kings group owned a farm somewhere in South Georgia where they had satanic rituals and of course murders rapes orgies etc of children and others back in the 1970s and 1980s. I sort of remember back in the late 1980s or early 1990s there was a supposed serial killer in Atlanta and other areas of Georgia who was murdering young black children all over the state . This person at the foundation told us that these serial murders were connected to this judges satanic group at their farm in Georgia"
    • John DeCamp talked about Penn State being linked to Franklin back in the 1990s: "This group was spread out all over the country . I dont know if you are aware of this but the Penn State Jerry Sandusky pedophile scandal of a few years ago was directly linked to the Franklin Coverup back in the early 1990s by John Decamp. Alex Jones interviewed John Decamp around the late 1990s and he talked about Penn State being involved Alex had to edit that out of his radio show back then because he was afraid of lawsuits. When the Penn State scandal came out a few years ago Alex remembered his conversation with John Decamp in the 90s and talked about it on his show"