Finding Jacob Wetterling

The 27-Year Investigation from Kidnapping to Confession


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About the Book

In October 1989, 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted near his home in the small town of St. Joseph, Minnesota. Despite an unparalleled effort to find him, his whereabouts remained a mystery for 27 years—until his kidnapper, arrested on another charge, confessed to Wetterling’s murder and led authorities to his buried remains in September 2016.
Wetterling’s disappearance—and the national media attention that followed—had far-reaching effects. No longer was small-town America considered safe from the exploitation of children. In 1993, Congress passed the “Jacob Wetterling Act,” setting up a nationwide registry for offenders convicted of crimes against children.
Based in part on earlier publications by the author, this detailed account chronicles the decades-long search for Wetterling and his abductor. Long-overlooked names and information that pointed the way to solving the case are brought to the forefront of the investigation.

About the Author(s)

Robert M. Dudley is a true-crime author whose interests lie in researching cold cases. He lives in west-central Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Robert M. Dudley
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, map, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6892-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2836-3
Imprint: Exposit Books

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Author’s Note 1
1. The Ride Home 3
2. The Call 10
3. Covering the Story 15
4. Welcome to St. Joseph, Minnesota 27
5. The Search Begins 37
6. Bare Trees 72
7. The Turn 86
8. The Sleuths 105
9. The Box 122
10. The Forgotten Man 126
11. Answers in the Sand 154
12. Closure 160
Afterword 168
Timeline of the Investigation 171
Chapter Notes 181
Bibliography 188
Index 203

Book Reviews & Awards

“A compelling read…the detailed exploration of the crime, its aftermath, and its ultimate resolution are gripping.”–Volume One.

Ebook Availability