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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa • Page 16

Des Moines, Iowa
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4B Des Moines Sunday Register! August 30, 1992 After 10 years, time fails to heal Gosch family's wounds Boys Iust Vanished Theories fail to yield answers and it takes different forms and aberrations," says Rabun. Sitting in their living room, a few blocks from the sidewalk where their son's wagon was found with its bundles of undelivered newspapers, the Gosches have beaten the odds. "You have a set of parents who are still together and who haven't totally destroyed themselves over the situation," John Gosch says. The Gosches have two grown children, one male, the other female, but they insist that their identities be kept confidential. "I don't think we could have done much more.

We weren't trained policemen. We just did what we thought was right. We got the word out and we started searching," Noreen Gosch says. The family successfully cam- volved could furnish, the Gosches say. West Des Moines police have not interviewed Bonacci.

"It wasn't that we didn't check out what he was saying," says West Des Moines Police Lt. Gerry Scott. "We interviewed family members to determine if there was anything that he was saying that was remotely connected to the case and we just couldn't find anything." Scott says the FBI claims Bonacci is not a credible witness. Noreen Gosch says the grieving process never ends. "Even after 10 years when I hear that a body has been found or something like that my heart turns over.

You think, 'Is this But nothing happens. Then it starts all over again." paigned for legislation to have police move quickly on missing children cases. They have appeared on national television, at forums and in national magazines speaking for children and warning about the threat of abductions. They have sold candy bars, had bake sales and garage sales to raise more than $100,000 for private investigators and handbills and posters. They have cashed insurance policies and emptied their savings to continue the search.

"We had resigned ourselves to the fact that Johnny was dead and that we would go to our graves not knowing what happened. All of a sudden the name Paul Bonacci came out of nowhere and we had the truth. There were things that he said he could not know" without having been involved with Johnny's abduction. Bonacci is an inmate at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln who claims he participated in the abduction. His story got wide publicity a year ago.

The 24-year-old Bonacci is to be released in October after serving time for sexually abusing a minor. A grand jury labeled Bonacci, said to have multiple personalities, "a pathetic figure." The Gosches believe Bonacci and his story that their son was taken for pornographers, driven' to a house in Sioux City, then to Colorado and to a fate where his personality and appearance have been dramatically changed. Bonacci has provided descriptions of their son that only a person in- GOSCH Continued from Page IB put this to rest" She quickly adds, "So many, many people sent us letters and their kind wishes. It has helped keep us going." Says her husband, "We kept going because we loved our son and we've wanted to find him." One poignant point is the family's porch light. It was kept on at all times to be a beacon should Johnny return.

The bulb has burned out and hasn't been replaced. Another note: Johnny's upstairs bedroom, kept untouched for years, has been cleared and is used as an office-storage area. "Divorces among parents of abducted children are pretty high. This is horribly damaging to all members, it i I I is a-' If I Mi 1 9 dt WW v. A Qshief folders i JO Notebooks I I 1'0 PACKETS J.

Mi) I I lwwct ilr I I 2pocketsand3prona JOTEB00XS I portfolios, 9-12" xir 20? page, spiral bound IE I assorted colors. Infe of 3- 1 I pack of 3. 10-12" 8" II No. 346-312 List 1.55 502477 .1 10 05 1 1 I 11" 8-12" I I I I college I I I 346-668 If I List 11.40 fJ I What could have happened to Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin? Ten years later, there are plenty of theories but no answers. Some investigators suspect that the boys likely were slain shortly after they were kidnapped, then buried within a 50-mile radius of the city.

The kidnapper worked alone, the theory goes. If others were involved someone would have messed up and been caught by the wide net cast by local, state and federal investigators. But, says West Des Moines police Lt. Lyle McKinney, who has been in charge of the local investigation, only a scant few facts are known with certainty. Delivering Newspapers "Those facts are that the boy went out to deliver newspapers.

We know several people saw him that morning. And all of a sudden he's gone. That's it. "We don't have a boy and we don't have a suspect." He adds, "I hate developing theories because then you get a closed mind. "Other than the boys you don't know what else you're looking for.

I don't know of anybody who isn't still looking for a live person." Eugene Meyer, who headed the state Division of Criminal Investigation probe, says no evidence has pointed investigators in one direction. "The law enforcement community has to be open to all possibilities and rationally evaluate them as they continue to unfold. There were no eyewitnesses to what happened. There is a complete absence of physical evidence." Pornography Rings John Rabun, vice president for the National Center for Missing Exploited Children, says that speculation often surfaces that youngsters are taken by pornography rings for exploitation. He says no such activity ever has been uncovered.

"From our vantage point it really doesn't make much sense. I can't rule out pornographers and nobody can rule it out until we find Johnny and Eugene. But it doesn't make real sense." Why, asks Rabun, would pomog- raphers kidnap two youngsters and then unleash an intense, nationwide search by law officers? "Why wouldn't they just give a kid at the bus depot $5 and then there would be no Part I crime?" he asks. Sam Soda, a former Des Moines private investigator involved in the Gosch case in the early years, suspects a sex ring is involved. "I don't think it was an individual acting alone.

There had to be a purpose. The purpose was money. What other reason could there be?" He adds, "Just because a ring hasn't surfaced doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Look how long it took the government to infiltrate organized crime." Frank Santiago D.M. diocese offers to buy city landmark By TOM CARNEY The Des Moines Catholic Diocese has offered to buy the landmark American Federal Savings and Loan Association building in downtown Des Moines.

Spokesman Tom Chapman said the diocese, encompassing the ad- ministrative offices of the Catholic Church in southwest Iowa, has made a bid on the building to the U.S. Reso-1 lution Trust a federal agency that in 1990 took over the failing American reaerai, once lowa largest savings and loan. Chapman said he didn't know the amount of the bid, only that it was below the $2.3 million asking price. The price of the building, designed by famed German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, fell from $3.4 million in April after the Des Moines City Council voted to give the structure landmark status. The designation placed restrictions on the building the trust corporation said would make it more difficult to sell.

The restrictions include prohibitions against demolition or remodeling without going through a lengthy process. Chapman said the trust rnrnnra- tion has accepted the diocese's bid and has civen the churrh timo tn Ho. cide whether to go ahead with the purchase. Chapman said he didn't know how long the diocese has to decide. Bishop William Bullock has formed a committee to insrw th building, at the corner of Sixth and urand avenues, to see if it meets' our needs," he said.

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No. 306-894 List 13.98 O'SULLIVAN BOOKCASES Two shelves, one adjustable 36" 12" Four shelves, three adjustable Six shelves, five adjustable 36" Available in walnut, oak, or gray. Ready i to assemble. Gii Lev PriCw if anyone is crazy enough to sell what we sell for less, show us and you'll get the lower price, plus 50 of the difference as a credit toward your Office Depot purchase (maximum $50 credit). Ad errors, closeouts and clearances do not qualify.

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Ready to assemble. No. 827-246 List 177.95 ffiy-fi)iV7 O'SULLIVAN COMPUTER W0RXCENTER Desk, hutch with adjustable shelf, printer stand and corner unit. Oak finish. Ready to assemble.

No. 326-918 List 199.95, r- f'" 0PE1 DAIY: 8am-9pm SATj 9am-9pm SWL: 10am-6pm WE ACCEPT: Discover, VUEY WIIT i i West (North (515) Des Moines 155022nd St. of I-235) 226-0010 Visa, Mastercard, American Express Office Depot Charge Card tnm itufc Jk.

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