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IA JOHNNY GOSCH: Missing from Des Moines, IA - 5 Sept 1982 - Age 12

Discussion in 'Missing 1980 to 1989' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    12-Year-Old Johnny Gosch Disappeared 34 Years Ago — And Was Never Found


    It's been 34 years since 12-year-old Johnny Gosch vanished while on his paper route in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. The case is heartbreaking, and made all the more haunting by the strange theories that now seek to explain his disappearance.

    The morning of September 5, 1982, started out like any other for the Gosch family. Johnny set out on his local paper route. On this particular day, however, his father did not accompany him, as he usually did. By 6 a.m., the Gosches received calls from their neighbors complaining that their newspapers had not been delivered. Johnny's father, John, set out to search the neighborhood. Just two blocks away from the family home, John found his son's abandoned wagon, full of undelivered newspapers. Johnny was nowhere to be found.

    There were no witnesses around at the time of Johnny's disappearance, though a neighbor later claimed he'd seen Johnny and another paperboy talking to a man driving a Ford Fairmont convertible. Furthermore, because there was no evidence of abduction, the Gosches faced considerable obstacles in convincing the police their son had been kidnapped.

    After a 23-day search, authorities were unable to uncover any evidence as to Johnny's whereabouts or any motive as to his kidnapping.



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  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Noreen Gosch's claims

    According to Noreen Gosch's account, she was awakened around 2:30 a.m. one morning in March 1997 by a knock at her apartment door. Waiting outside was Johnny Gosch, now 27, accompanied by a man she had never seen before. Gosch said she immediately recognized her son, who opened his shirt to reveal a birthmark on his chest. "We talked about an hour or an hour and a half. He was with another man, but I have no idea who the person was. Johnny would look over to the other person for approval to speak," says Mrs. Gosch. "He didn't say where he is living or where he was going."

    In a 2005 interview, Mrs. Gosch said, "The night that he came here, he was wearing jeans and a shirt and had a coat on because it was March. It was cold and his hair was long, it was shoulder-length and it was straight and dyed black." After the visit, she had the FBI create a picture she says looked like Johnny.

    Noreen Gosch self-published a book in 2000 titled, Why Johnny Can't Come Home. The book presents her understanding of what her son went through, based on the original research of various private investigators and her son's visit.

    On September 1, 2006, Noreen reported that she found photographs left at her front door, some of which she posted on her website. One color photo shows three boys bound and gagged. She claims that a black-and-white photo appears to show 12-year-old Johnny Gosch with his mouth gagged, his hands and feet tied, and an apparent human brand on his shoulder. A third photo shows a man, possibly dead, who may have something tied around his neck. Mrs. Gosch alleged the man was one of the "perpetrators who molested [my] son".

    Mrs. Gosch later said the first two photos had originated on a website featuring child pornography.

    On September 13, an anonymous letter was mailed to Des Moines police.


    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 concerning that picture, made by the Hillsborough County (FL) 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.

    Nelson Zalva, who worked for the Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff's Office in the 1970s, said the details of the letter were true and adds that he also investigated the black-and-white in "1978 or 1979", before Gosch's disappearance. "I interviewed the kids, and they said there was no coercion or touching. ... I could never prove a crime," Zalva says. When asked for proof that this was indeed the same photo from years before Zalva could never provide any. Noreen Gosch still believes the pictures to be of her son.

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  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Bonacci allegations

    In 1989, Paul Bonacci told his attorney John DeCamp that he had been abducted into a sex ring with Gosch as a teenager and was forced to participate in Gosch's kidnapping.

    FBI and local police do not believe that Bonacci is a credible witness in the case.

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  4. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  5. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2018
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  6. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    This is the full ''Who Took Johnny'' documentary. It's very well done. Paul Bonacci is interviewed.
  7. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I just finished watching this via Netflix and it was very good! I believe Johnny was kept alive for a long time, but I don't know if he still is? I hope so. And I hope if he is, he gets the courage to come forward. He may be able to help others.

    Paul Bonacci seemed totally credible. Wow.

    Was the film "Conspiracy of Silence" ever completed in 1993? I'd like to see it.

    I'd also like to be able to know the stories behind all the missing people out there. There are so many that are just a blank slate as far as our knowledge of what's happened to their families and to all the missing people. How can we help them if we have our heads in the sand? That's what Noreen did, she pulled a lot of heads out of the sand!
  8. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

  9. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    "Conspiracy of Silence" explains the pedophilia ring, but doesn't talk about Johnny. There is a woman named Alisha who was a witness against the leader of the Ring who according to the following link, she says also saw Johnny. But that isn't mentioned in the film.


    Oh shoot, wrong link. I can't find it now. I'll have to look again later.
  10. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    More info about Johnny being trafficked for the Franklin ring. A letter that is copied here indicates he was taken to Mexico. It's interesting that they said one of the leaders was dying of AIDS. The ringleader who was arrested, a man named Larry King, had a right-hand man with a different name who committed suicide when he was in his latter stages of AIDS. I wonder if Emelio and that guy are the same person? King's sidekick was Craig Spence. The boys who have come forward also mentioned someone they called the Colonel.

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  11. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Finding Johnny Gosch: Missing child investigation continues 35 years later

    Tuesday marked the 35th anniversary of the disappearance of West Des Moines paperboy Johnny Gosch.

    A generation later, there are still no answers about what happened that morning on his paper route.

    Theories of kidnapping and sex rings have come and gone. The case even inspired the first missing children pictures on milk cartons thanks to Anderson Erickson Dairy.

    “That's the incredible thing,” Sampson said. “After 35 years there is no clue.”

    West Des Moines Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Giampolo said the department still receives tips in the case but nothing that has helped to solve the crime.

    “We still follow the leads in this case just like we do every other case, even like we did back in 1982,” Giampolo said.

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  12. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    This case haunts me.
    I remember when it happened.
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  13. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

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  14. spike

    spike Bronze Member

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  15. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Today marks 36 years since Johnny Gosch disappeared

    Today marks 36 years since West Des Moines paper boy Johnny Gosch disappeared.

    The 12-year-old went missing while on his paper route. He would be 48 years old today.

    West Des Moines police still considers it an active case.

    Thirty-six years later, there still have never been any credible clues to prove what exactly happened to him.

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  16. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

    This Case has stuck with Me Since I was 13. John Gosh was Born in "69" I was Born June "70" less than a Yr of Him. I 1st saw His "Missing Poster" at a Small Roadside Diner on My way with My Parents to My Grandparents Farm in Missouri Summer of "83". It immediately bothered Me. It didn't make Me scared for Myself. (Fact is I could have been STRANGER Abducted at Age 6 AND LATER THAT FALL OF "83") It made Me think, "Something REALLY BAD HAPPENED". And while driving along the endless Cornfields and Trees, thinking "He could be out there" Morbid I KNOW, BUT I CAN'T HELP IT! I have heard Noreen's COMPLETE STORY! And there is a VERY GOOD "Podcast" on a site called "Sword and Scale". It's 2 Parts. It Involves the "Conspiracies" of Noreen I already knew. About His Visiting Her Etc. But further along, Her "Conspiracies" seem Outlandish to say the least. But let Me say, I FEEL DEEPLY FOR HER! AND I THINK SHE WENT OVER THE EDGE BECAUSE OF THIS TERRIBLE TRAGEDY! BY NO FAULT OF HER OWN! THAT I CANNOT IMAGINE, NOT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR CHILD, BUT NO DOUBT, SOMETHING HORRIFIC! As for the "Birthmark" I think it's a Shadow. And the "Visit" While POSSIBLE, I think was Someone's SICK SENSE OF HUMOR, THINKING IT'S FUNNY!!! IT IS NOT AT ALL!!! AND THEY WILL PAY!!! I think this Incident GREATLY DAMAGED Noreen. It makes Me Cry. The "Brand" I drew it and started searching for it. I came across a "Likeness" of it. And it was tied to "Nazi's". But I could NEVER FIND a meaning. And only found 1 image and it was large hanging on a wall. I will go back, I think I remember where I saw it. Will try to get info and DEFINITELY SHARE!!!
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  17. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

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  18. Mel70

    Mel70 Bronze Member

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  19. Sundance

    Sundance Active Member

    Anyone who still views this-
    On Facebook, there is a group titled "Official Johnny Gosch Group." Noreen is in the group herself. It's a good way to discuss theories and uncover parts of the case.
  20. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

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