In the Dark

In the Dark

www.apmreports.org/in-the-dark
Child abductions are rare crimes. And they’re typically solved. For 27 years, the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota yielded no answers. In the most comprehensive reporting on this case, APM Reports and reporter Madeleine Baran reveal how law enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the country and how those failures fueled national anxiety about stranger danger, led to the nation’s sex-offender registries and raise questions about crime-solving effectiveness and accountability.
We’re Working On Season 2
Feb 1 • 3 min
We’ve got some great news to share: In the Dark isn’t over! We’re getting started right now on a second season.
Update: A Sentencing, A Demand, No Closure
Dec 2, 2016 • 36 min
The sentencing of Danny Heinrich on Nov. 21, 2016, brought to a close the 27-year investigation into the abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling. But it didn’t end the story.
9: The Truth
Oct 25, 2016 • 42 min
When Danny Heinrich confessed in court on Sept. 6 to abducting and murdering Jacob Wetterling and assaulting Jared Scheierl 27 years ago, investigators declared that at last, the public had the truth. But despite Heinrich’s excruciatingly detailed…
8: What’s Going on Down There?
Oct 18, 2016 • 46 min
In November 2012, a police officer named Tom Decker was shot and killed in Cold Spring, Minn., after getting out of his car to check on a man who lived above a bar. The man was quickly arrested and held in the Stearns County jail. He was interrogated but…
7: This Quiet Place
Oct 11, 2016 • 40 min
Soon after the abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling in 1989, Stearns County sheriff’s investigators came face to face with his killer, Danny Heinrich, who would confess to the crime 27 years later. Then they let him go. It wasn’t the first time that…
6: Stranger Danger
Oct 4, 2016 • 36 min
In the 1970s and early ’80s, missing children weren’t considered a policing priority. You couldn’t even enter missing child information into the FBI’s national crime database. But that changed quickly.
5: Person of Interest
Sep 27, 2016 • 47 min
Dan Rassier now wishes he’d insisted that police search his family’s St. Joseph farm top to bottom the night Jacob Wetterling was abducted. That way, they would have known there was nothing to find. And it would have been harder for them to come back 21…
4: The Circus
Sep 20, 2016 • 36 min
The Wetterling abduction story kept getting bigger as the case served as a conduit for public fear and grief. Capitalizing on a growing sense that pedophiles lurked in every shadow, the likes of Maury Povich and Geraldo Rivera joined the cause with…
3: The One Who Got Away
Sep 13, 2016 • 44 min
The closest you can get to a conversation with Jacob Wetterling about his abduction is to talk to Jared Scheierl. Scheierl was walking home from an ice skating rink in Cold Spring in January 1989 when a man who turned out to be Danny Heinrich forced him…
2: The Circle
Sep 7, 2016 • 38 min
When Jacob Wetterling was taken, authorities launched what would turn into one of the largest searches for any missing person in the history of the United States. But that first night, law enforcement didn’t cover all the basics.
1: The Crime
Sep 7, 2016 • 34 min
The abduction of Jacob Wetterling, which made parents more vigilant and led to the first national requirement that states track sex offenders via registries, took place before moonrise on a warm October night in 1989.
Coming Soon: In the Dark
Aug 29, 2016 • 3 min
After he disappeared nearly 27 years ago, Jacob Wetterling’s remains have been found. Why did it take so long?