Danny Heinrichs’ allocution on Tuesday puts a horrific, dismal, banally evil period on the Jacob Wetterling story.

US Attorney Andy Lugar’s plea deal – Heinrich confessed to a  child porn charge in exchange for no charge for Wetternling’s murder – is both absurd and utterly understandable; better to close the case and put the monster away for 20 years than leave the Wetterlings, and much of the state, in suspended animation forever.

I’m not happy – but then it’s not about me.  And there’s always the hope that he’ll accidentally swerve into General Population and get torn into long, thin strips.

One can hope.

For The Kids – I was driving to North Dakota with my fiance and soon-to-be stepson in October of 1990.    There was a muffled “boom”, and one of the tires on my 1984 Honda Accord flew apart like a Walmart end table in a gorilla cage.  I put on my donut spare and limped to the next freeway exit – Saint Joseph.

And as the town approached the first anniversary of the kidnapping, the place seemed to be plastered with posters, looking for any information anyone could find about Wetterling.

And it occurred to me – it was a terrible time to have children in Minnesota.

The late eighties and early nineties saw a slew of horrific kidnappings in the upper midwest;  Jeana North in Fargo; another young girl murdered by a revolting fat pig at a second-hand store in Northeast Minneapolis, another girl in Inver Grove Heights killed by a mom who was in the process of losing her boyfriend, a few more here and there.  Unlike Wetterling, most of the cases were solved fairly quickly.   Most involved relatives, or people known to the family.

And if we’d have found Danny Heinrich that day, I’d have happily peeled his skin off with a buck knife while he screamed vainly for mercy that’d never come.  Because while the phrase “we lost our innocence” is one of the most hackneyed-unto-meaninglessness phrases in the language these days, it certainly applied.

Because as I embarked on raising a stepson, and sooner than later a daughter and son of my own, we all got the pleasure of trying to teach kids, right in the middle of their innocent, wonderful early years, some ineluctible tactical calculus that is hard for adults to absorb.

If a stranger asks you to come with them, don’t.  Especially if they tell you we sent them.  We’ll never do that.

If a stranger pulls a knife or a gun and tells you to get in the car?  Run.   Don’t even think; run.  They probably won’t shoot – it’ll alert people.  And even if they do?  Moving targets are much harder to hit – and your odds, even as a kid, of surviving a knife or gunshot wound are much better than of coming home from a “secondary crime scene” alive.

If you hear gunfire at school, get away; do not get cooped up in a “locked down” classroom, like a pen full of sheep waiting for the abattoir to come to them.  Get out.  Go over the teacher, go out the window, do what it takes.  A moving target is harder to hit than one on its knees begging for mercy.

Oh, yeah – make lots of noise.  Make an ungodly racket – yell “Rape” and “Kidnapping”; even the most cynical urban adults should response to that – right?  We’ll come back to that.

Having to bring that into my kids’ lives?  Here’s hoping Satan spends all eternity ass-raping Danny Heinrich.  God may forgive.  I’m not there yet.

If It Saves One Life – Minnesota in 1989 was a much more pervert-friendly place than it is today.

Three boys biking on a dead-end road after dark, far from any adults, were a tragically easy target for a motivated pervert, of course.  Everything that could go wrong for those boys, pretty much did.

But a scream reaching an adult in 1989 had an almost zero percent chance of bringing an adult who could do anything more than hope to get a license plate, and shake their fists in misplaced comic fury.

Stranger kidnappings have always been rare – and while I don’t have the stats handy, they seem like they’ve gotten rarer, if only because the media hammers on them so hard when they do happen, and I’ve seen fewer stories.  It’s not scientific…

…but in places like Saint Joseph today, one adult in twenty has the means to respond to a screaming child and an armed adult in in the middle of the act in a more-than-symbolic way.  And you have to figure at least some of the perverts know it.

Believe it or don’t – I don’t care.  Although at least one life has been saved.

I, Stick – I read Patty Wetterling’s injunction to the media and her well-wishers – go forth, hug your kids, feel joy.  It was inspiring and beautiful in its way.

But to every useful, meaningful carrot there must be a stick.   Kids who are on guard for the unthinkable, even during a time of their lives when it should be and stay unthinkable; adults who shake off the ennui of modern life and stay aware of the situation around them; the wisdom to ski the moral slalom between vigilance, judgmentalism, and concern when seeing the signs in their fellow adults that might be nothing, or might be warnings.

And we have to do all that without destroying our childrens’ childhoods – among the most important things this world offers anyone.

[Note:  I debated closing comments for this post.  I will in fact leave them open – but any comment I deem moronic and flatulently self-entitled will be either deleted without ceremony or held up for especial mockery, depending on my mood. And my mood is not good.  Be warned]

20 thoughts on “Wetterling

  1. Well said.

    My son was born the year Jacob was taken. It has always been something we think about. We always has a code word, should even someone we all knew want to have him go with them.

  2. A friend of mine once said that when it comes to children, adults have two responsibilities: to protect their innocence as long as possible while preparing them for the day when it’s no longer possible.

  3. Sadly there always have been and always will be monsters out there. Wish there was a way we could identify them and act against them before they commit their heinous acts.

    Hopefully they will put him in a facility where he spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. Give him time to reflect on the damage he’s done.

  4. It is my prayer that people go over every identifiable fact about his existence with a fine toothed comb (as they have done with guys like John Wayne Gacy) to figure out what made him tick and how we might prevent people with his perversions from making them nasty and even lethal.

  5. I have some linking to do here, and I hope you’ll bear with me because I think my conclusion is worth considering. Maybe you’ll consider mocking me, and that’s OK; consideration is consideration.

    Although the Wetterling tragedy involved a man sexually abusing boys, we have not been bothered by SJW concern trolls who are worried it may cast shade on their favorite victim constituency.

    That is because Danny Heinrich is a straight up pedophile. He wasn’t the type to titillate Emery with a march down the street in assless chaps; he never felt the urge to wear pastels; he was a sick fuck that preyed on pre-pubescent kids, with a special attention to boys. No question; end of story.

    Contrast that, however, with the carefully crafted puff piece in the Pioneer Press about the homo “married couple” that was raping sexually mature, underage public school boys.

    Of the public school teacher (thaaaats right), Babbitt, the PP queefed:

    He was enthusiastic and devoted, a South St. Paul native who taught at one of the city’s elementary schools for 14 years.

    And families adored him.
    Left behind is a town that is “heartbroken,” lifelong resident Lois Glewwe said.

    If you delve into the comments, you will see SJW’s doing their best to deflect (What about Bill Cosby, Jack Walls Scout veteran of 22 years and Mary Kay Leterneau??), to minimize (Because, as we know, there are no instances of heterosexuals preying on children.) and make use of Berg’s 5th ( My hunch is that your homophobia is rooted in some masculine insecurities you have).

    What do you think would happen if SJW’s made the same comments on the Wetterling story? Now Heinrich killed Jacob Wetterling, but does anyone believe that Babbitt and Deyo haven’t devastated their victims lives?

    Heinrich is the poster animal for stranger danger, but Babbit, with his meek smile and bowtie(!) was the beloved and trusted “gay guy” who “mentored” kids by day, and raped them by night.

    Who is more dangerous?

    My point is this. Psychopathic predators will always be a concern, but has the left made our streets even more dangerous by normalizing sexual deviants the point they are trusted with not only being involved with kids, but adopting them into their circus tents?

    I’m not saying every homo will molest kids. I believe the majority of them, like former SPPS board member Al Oertwig, contain their appetite for young boys to dirty magazines and internet porn and will never actually touch a kid. But given their relative rarity among the population (2-5%), doesn’t the Catholic church and Boy Scouts disasters have something to teach us?

    What’s it going to take to wake people up?

  6. And now let’s find every little detail on what Heinrich has been up to SINCE Jacob, and see if we can’t find enough dots to form a noose around his neck.

  7. Minnesota was pervert friendly back then? No. We all as a society were a bit more naive, perhaps.

    This from the rape-friendly, sexual harassment friendly right is ludicrous. I have a post about the sexual harassment of Gretchen Carlson, and the other women at Fox, as well as the Trump law suits and accusations of both sexual harassment and rape coming up tomorrow.

    I agree here with Night Writer; there has to have been activity from Heinrich since the Wetterling incident.

    I’m more interested in the details of the gun. I find it odd in the confession that when he panicked and shot Jacob Wetterling because of approaching law enforcement and given the proximity of the farm, including a farm house, to the described murder location. Guns make noise. Locations like gravel pits reflect noise, in some respects amplifying the sound. If you’re scared of being caught it would seem contradictory to that fear to make such a loud noise by firing a gun while police are nearby actively looking for you (he claims he could hear sirens approaching down 23, which ran past the location).

    I’m particularly curious about the caliber and type of revolver; an exchange earlier today with an ATF agent suggests it most likely, given the date of the murder, to be a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson 5 shot, based on what were popular / common at the time. The discussion also included an outline of what would diminish sound from the shot being heard.

    Next step will be to contact the local US Attorney’s office to see what they can share about the weapon and how and from whom it was acquired by Heinrich, in the context of writing about how criminals obtain guns.

    And of course Swiftee and Mitch are incorrect in asserting that homosexuals or bi-sexuals are pedophiles. The reality is that there are far more heterosexual pedophiles than there are homosexual ones, and that pedophilia by gender orientation roughly parallels the distribution of how many people are straight versus gay.

    But heck, why let a tragedy go by like the Wetterling murder without taking a bigot spigot swipe at the LGBT. That would be using the working definition for bigotry that it is broadly demeaning or disparaging of a group and that it is not factually accurate. Much like the bathroom use of transgenders where there is essentially no evidence that trans people in any way behave badly towards other people in public restroom Ah, the hate of conservative ignorance, it burns — but the group it is burning is the right, antagonizing independent voters with the virulence of it all.

  8. Don’t worry, we’re building a new wing just for him down here, should be ready by 2020

  9. Here’s hoping Satan spends all eternity ass-raping Danny Heinrich.

    I hate to add fuel to your fire, Mitch, but part of the deal was that Heinrich would go to one of the nicer Federal prisons and not be put in the general population of the common Federal prisons where his life would have been Hell. He will be eligible for parole, but he will be eligible for civil commitment in MN once released so he may not ever be a free man again.

    It’s a disgusting situation created by a disgusting individual, but I understand the Wetterlings’ desire for closure provided he would no longer be a threat to society. My only fear is that bleeding heart liberals will eliminate civil commitment by the time Heinrich is released. All the research to date is that criminal pedophiles are incurable, so someone like Heinrich will always be a threat if allowed loose.

  10. Also on a more somber note mitch, you can maybe take some solace that in order for this deal to even be offered the Wetterlings had to sign off on the unbelievable deal and give it their blessing because they wanted closure. And to a certain extent I can’t blame them. I want there to be mob justice like any person with a soul but sometimes justice doesn’t happen in this life. It sucks…

  11. It’s a disgusting situation created by a disgusting individual, but I understand the Wetterlings’ desire for closure provided he would no longer be a threat to society.

    I have a hunch that the parole board will have five million people lining up to testify against.

  12. Given that the perp here, just like John Wayne Gacy, had a fairly long history of interesting interactions with the law, I’m going to honor Jacob Wetterling’s memory by learning the signs and acting on them. Who knows how many victims could have been spared if people had done so?

    And yes, per Swiftee’s comment, that does include grown men wanting to share tents with unrelated minors. The Boy Scouts prohibit that sort of thing for a reason, or, rather, a LOT of tragic reasons, many of which have cost them public shame and millions of dollars of settlements.

  13. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 09.07.16 : The Other McCain

  14. Swift: Pro-tip: you first have to label your selected group as them before you can stereotype.

  15. It’s always good to be aware of the things and people around us, Bubba. But other than protecting you and yours in the moment, what good will recognizing perverts do in our 21st century circus?

    There is a huge groundswell of dimwits demanding men wearing a wig and some lipstick have every right to share a bathroom with our daughters for Christ’s sake. Informing your neighbors of the presence of a pervert will most likely get you hauled to jail or at best, spit upon by an offended SJW.

    As the circus train gains speed through America, I become ever more thankful that I’ve removed my family to a relatively small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, a few miles past the end of the tracks.

  16. Swiftee; darned good question on what good it would do. Where I am now–Sunday School grand poo-bah for my church and homeschooling dad–recognizing their behavior and keeping those with convictions out of classrooms reduces my church’s liability and enhances child safety. For me, that’s a good start.

    When my kids are out in the world, you betcha that if they see something like what girls saw in Virginia MN recently–a boy twerking and acting lewdly in the girls’ locker room while claiming to be a girl–they are going to file a police report. The law may protect a boy’s right to be there, but it does not protect him when he behaves indecently.

    And yes, it may take a lot of parents withdrawing their children from the government’s schools to actually persuade administrators and police that yes, we are serious when we say that we don’t think boys ought not pretend they are girls so they can ogle our daughters in the locker room or worse.

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