This post was originally published in 2012.
On September 5, 1982, 12-year-old Johnny Gosch was kidnapped from Des Moines, IA while delivering the local Sunday newspaper. Normally, Johnny’s father, John Sr., would accompany him on his route. However, on this day only Johnny’s dachshund, Gretchen was with him. The night before, Johnny asked his parents if he could go on the route alone. They told him no. Johnny left his home without his parents aware he was leaving.
At 7:00 a.m., John and Noreen Gosch began receiving telephone calls from people who had not yet received their morning paper. John then went looking for his son. He found Johnny’s wagon that was full of papers two blocks from their home, but no sign of Johnny.
The worried parents immediately called the police. They were forced to wait 72 hours before they could file a missing person’s report. Noreen maintains to this day that the police were slow in investigating her son’s case.
Witnesses reportedly saw Johnny talking to a man at 42nd Street and Marcourt Lane. The man was driving a blue two-tone Ford Fairmont with Nebraska license plates, and Johnny appeared to be giving the man directions.
Some reports state that after Johnny walked away, he was taken by two men and forced into the Ford Fairmont where he was held down in the backseat as the car sped away.
There were no other sightings of Johnny until a few months later.
In March 1983, a 12-year old boy, matching Johnny’s description, approached a woman leaving a store in Oklahoma. He said to her, “I’m John David Gosch. Please help me.” Before the woman could do anything, two men approached the boy and lead him away. She later reported this to police in October 1983 after seeing Johnny’s photo during the NBC Movie “Adam.” She immediately phoned authorities and the FBI later confirmed that they believe it was Johnny Gosch (AMW.com)
One month later, Noreen received a phone call. On the other end was a boy who said, “Please help me. Please help me. I can’t get away.” Noreen asked if the boy was okay, and he said that he was, although his speech was slurred. “Where are you?” she asked, but the caller hung up. Noreen was convinced it was her son. Unfortunately, police were unable to trace the call and the lead slipped through their fingers. The West Des Moines Police did not believe the calls were legitimate, but Noreen insisted the caller was her son, but even her own husband doubted her.
In 1984, Johnny’s photograph appeared alongside that of Juanita Rafaela Estavez on milk cartons across America. They were the first two abducted children to have their cases publicized in this manner.
That same year, on August 12th, another boy was abducted while delivering the Des Moines Register, the same newspaper Johnny was delivering the day he vanished. Eugene Martin, 13 years old at the time, has never been found. Like Johnny, Eugene normally did not go on the route alone, his stepbrother usually accompanied him. But on this day, it was just him. Noreen believes they are connected.
In 1989, Paul Bonacci, a young sex offender imprisoned in Nebraska, came forward and told attorney John DeCamp that he was in a sex ring with Gosch as a teenager and was coerced into participating in Gosch’s abduction. Bonacci mentioned several people involved, including law enforcement officials, politicians, and business owners.
In 1992, America’s Most Wanted aired a segment featuring Johnny’s case, and with the help of Paul Bonacci, several composites were drawn of the people involved in Johnny’s kidnapping. The FBI made several failed attempts to keep the show from being aired.
After AMW aired, Noreen received a 14-page letter from a guy named “Jimmy”. In this letter, Jimmy gave detailed information to Noreen about her son.
In March 1997, Noreen claimed she received a visit from Johnny who told her what had happened to him. However, he could never come home for good because he knew too much about this pedophile ring and feared for his life.
In 2000, Noreen published a book called, “Why Johnny Can’t Come Home”.
In 2006, Noreen began receiving several pictures of Johnny bound and gagged, proof to her that he had been kidnapped.
Through the years, Noreen has endured many threats against her life, yet she remains strong and convinced that Johnny was abducted by this ring.
She believes that former CIA agent Michael Aquino bought Johnny for $35,000 from a farm in South Dakota and then took him to Colorado where Johnny began a program in torture, mind control and prostitution.
In 1975, Michael Aquino founded The Temple of Set, which according to Wikipedia.com, is an initiatory occult society claiming to be the world’s leading left-hand path religious organization. It professes Setian philosophy and magical practice.
In July 2008, Noreen released information about a second man, named Tony, who helped kidnap Johnny. Two composite sketches were made of how the abductor looked in 1982 and then 10 years later. It just so happens that this sketch is the same composite sketch of the abductor in the Michaela Garecht case.
For more detailed information about Johnny’s case, please visit The Johnny Gosch Foundation.
To read my thoughts on this case, please click here.