The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on March 6, 1983 · Page 17
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 17

Publication:
Location:
Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 6, 1983
Page:
Page 17
Start Free Trial
Cancel

8B DES MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER MARCH 6, 1983 Blue car, mystery man elude Gosch probers Continued from Page One Moines. All three are unknown dead women. Michael Olson, who supervises the file, said that 16 of the unknown dead are under 18 but none of the descriptions matches Johnny Gosch. What is known to have happened Sept. 5 has been run, and re-run hundreds of times by investigators. A Long Block Gosch, who was planning to go to the lake with his parents that Labor Day weekend, got up, got his wagon and left his home at 1004 Forty-fifth St. in West Des Moines, cutting across the yards of neighbors to Ashworth Road. He walked along Ashworth to the newspaper drop a long block away at Forty-second Street and MEN'S VINYL INSULATED BOOTS (fiMtfytar Wttt) htOaatty 0HLYM9.99 Sizes 713 M-F 9-7 Sat. 10 6 Sun. 12 5 SHOE WAREHOUSE 3018 SW 9th Ashworth. A witness, who also picked up newspapers at the drop a little later, said he saw a blue car parked at the corner, its lights off. The driver was sitting on the passenger side talking to Gosch. According to other carriers, the car had been in the area for some 30 minutes, and the driver asked Gosch for directions before the youngster reached the paper drop. The man wanted to know how to get to Eighty-sixth Street, which is Twenty-second Street in West Des Moines, a busy north-south thoroughfare 1V miles away, with some all-night gas stations. According to parents Noreen and John Gosch, who have hired a private investigator, their son told another carrier later, "That man in the car) is really weird." The witness, who asked that his name be withheld, said he tried to give directions to the man at the corner after Gosch gave up. "Beady Eyes" In a recent interview with The Register, he said, "This guy was high. When you're drunk you're drowsy. He was wide awake and I could see his beady eyes staring into the horizon." The witness said he stood three feet from the man and could see him plainly. His face lit by soft light, the man inside the car had dark features and a SC. 1 Test your own blood sugar at home! It's easy with the new Ames Glucometen). The Glucometer is completely portable Battery-operated Features simple push button operation, digital display Built-in memory calibration Provides laboratory accuracy at our attordabie price n ft ri 1 See your physician, then call: 53 HOME A-11 HEALTHCARE CENTER NOW AMES HAS A $50 REBATE See your dealer for details. Available at A-l Home Healthcare Center. 2915 Ingersoll Des Moines Phone 277-9500 jMortwbtW) VISA' mustache and was about 40 years old. "He looked like he was disgusted, a bit miffed," the witness said. The man then slid across the seat, started the car, and turned on the lights. The witness then noticed the car bore a Warren County license plate and remembers "more than one of the figures" on the plate. The car made a U-turn and bolted east on Ashworth. "They put me under hypnosis," he said. "I told them all I knew. Nothing more has come to my mind, but if it does, the police will know." After the brief conversation at the corner, Gosch walked north on Forty-second with his newspaper-laden wagon to begin his deliveries. Another witness one of four police have been able to find said he saw a man walk out of the shadows at Forty-second Street, near the paper drop, and talk to Gosch. The youngster crossed the street, parked his wagon at the corner of Marcourt Lane, a block from where he picked up the papers. It's the same corner where Gosch usually left his wagon while he delivered papers to subscribers on Francrest Circle. At that time, police said, other carriers saw Gosch sitting in his wagon. A resident near the corner saw a car roll up to the corner but didn't see the boy. At 7:45 a.m. the phone rang at the Gosch home. Gosch's customers wanted to know where their papers were. The mystery had begun. Loose Ends Detective McKinney and DCI Agent Wood, sitting in the West Des Moines Police Department's squad room among stacks of reports, photos and cards involving the Gosch case, said they were retracing the investigation, looking for loose ends. There are still calls that must be checked. "You can go in any direction with this thing," McKinney sighed. "You' can say it's a runaway. You can say it's an abduction. You can say the driver of the blue car is involved. You could say that he isn't, that he was only in the neighborhood, and hasn't come foward because he doesn't want people to know he was there. Maybe he was fooling around. "You can say the boy is alive, you can say he's dead, although I have a gut feeling he's alive. We just don't know. "You can say he was taken by a cult, but the information we've picked up indicates most people are in a cult because they want to be. They are not snatched up at random." McKinney added, "I've never worked a case this long without having a good strong feeling about it." Police checked every all-night establishment in the metropolitan area. They had witnesses pore over mug shots of known sex offenders, and followed leads from more than a dozen of the 80-plus psychics who've contacted the family. Investigators have also attempted to determine whether Gosch was snared by a child pornography ring. Little is known about the mysterious man who stepped out of the shadows seen by only one witness before Gosch parked his wagon. A few days after he disappeared, police were sent to a coin-operated car wash at 3511 Harding Road where there was a report of a large pool of blood in one of the stalls. It proved to be a blood type other than Gosch's. Calls from Toronto Two individuals, in separate calls from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, reported seeing Gosch. Police there were asked to check. They found a youngster in a hospital who looked like Gosch, but wasn't. But of all the leads the toughest to follow has been that of the two cars seen the morning the boy disappeared. The first, driven by the man who asked for directions, is described as a light-blue over dark-blue mid-size late model car. The second car, seen where Gosch left his wagon, is said to be a silver Ford Fairmont, a black stripe along its side. Hundreds of registrations were checked, said McKinney. West Des Moines police, helped by the Des Moines police and the Polk County sheriff's office and agencies elsewhere in the state, went to Ford Rid ge Mall g ingin if ti es You Fun, Style. Cash in on a weekend of 50's fun this Friday through Sunday at SouthRidge Mall. 50's Dance Contest Friday, March 4th 7-10 p.m. 0 crcoa o Over $500 in free prizes to be given away! Meet Die Youngs from KIOA, as you dance the night away in Center Court. Win everything from nostalgic Marilyn Monroe and James Dean prize packages to tickets for a midnight showing of The Burkiv Hotly Storv at the South-Ridge III Theaters. Fun & 50's Fashion Saturday, March 5th, 3 p.m. Meet the Look-a-Like, Sound-a-Like of the famous Wolf Man Jack at SouthRidge Mall's Fun & 50's Fashion Show in Center Court. 50's Car Show Sunday, March 6 From Noon till 5 p.m. check out the cars on display from the Tri-Five Chevy Club and the Hawkeye Classic Thunderbird Club. Vote for your favorite Chevy and T-Bird. $ x I i I.: J " - - o r r-n..AAHt. o t rx.. . r, --1 jfl. 1 S.E. Fourteenth & Army Post Road I II K SHOWN WEST DES MOINES REGISTER MAP BY DAVID SILK Francrest Cir. o CL. 11 Marcourt Ln. V .0 VALLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH i r Ashworth Rd. ti LEGEND Gosch residence 1004 45th Street H First car parked here 0 Paper pickup point Q Gosch's wagon found here 0 Second car seen here The above map shows the West Des Moines area from which John Gosch Jr. disappeared last September. Fairmont owners and asked to look at their cars. "We had lot of them and everyone was cooperative," McKinney said. Could the two cars actually be one? Could the witnesses, none of whom saw both cars, have given different descriptions of the same car? Could the driver have circled the area and returned to the corner where Gosch had parked his wagon? McKinney said he doesn't know, but he doesn't want to eliminate either car. "As far as I'm concerned we have two cars," he said. The investigation is also being carried on privately by the Gosches through Dennis Whelan, a private detective from Omaha. It was Whelan who doggedly searched for the missing Walter Todd Bequette of Carter Lake, who had vanished from the streets of Omaha in 1974. Bequette, then 13, had gone into Omaha to meet his mother. Whelan found Bequette 17V months later living with a 30-year-old, 320-pound homosexual who had a history of child molesting. They were in Clarkson, Wash. Bequette, now married and living in Texas, had been lured into the man's car with the promise of a mini-bike. His father said he had been drugged and beaten. What could have happened to Johnny Gosch? With the known details of the case, The Register called two investigators outside the state who are experienced in finding missing persons. Lt. William Mahon, commanding officer of the missing persons section of the Chicago Police Department, said it appears to be an abduction. "It doesn't sound like the abduction for pornography or by a homosexual. But that doesn't mean it isn't involved. My feeling is that he's alive. If he met up with foul play, you would have found something at this time. "The cars are important, but maybe they don't mean anything. I would still have my people checking every lead possible, every small lead. We've had cases we haven't given up on in seven years. You may stir up somebody who forgot something or somebody who was reluctant to talk to you at one time or another." Detective John Carrolle of the sybaru IOWA'S LARGEST DEALER HERE'S WHY! Standard Hatchback $5400 DL Hatchback, 5 speed $6698 DL 4 door, 5 speed $6698 GL Wagon, 5 speed $7293 All Subaru discounted, this price Includes freight & prep, 49 others available. ramscv Dontiac subaru 4th &Keo 131-0461 missing persons section of the Los Angeles Police Department suggested that Gosch may have been stalked by someone "who knew who he was or his habits." "It might be someone in the community who takes note of the youngster's habits. The person probably knew something about this youngster," he said. "On the hopeful side, someone could have abducted him because they wanted a child; or the bad side, this person did his deed and disposed of the body "There is a chance the boy will never be found. I lean more toward the positive thinking that something will come up." Postmaster saves job for a while Th Rttfstor't kwi Nmti SfYKt OMAHA, NEB. - Omaha Postmaster John P. Munnelly has obtained a court order barring the Postal Service from firing him before at least next Tuesday. Munnelly, who has been postmaster since 1961, was told Friday he was being discharged because a state ethics commission had earlier fined him $3,000 in connection with his service as a director of the Omaha Public Power Board. But late Friday, Munnelly obtained an order from U.S. District Judge Arlen Beam allowing him to stay on the job until a court hearing on his dismissal can be held on Tuesday. Munnelly had been fined by the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Commission because of charges that he used the power board's telephones to make personal calls. Rail line hearing set for Shenandoah SHENANDOAH, IA. (AP) - The possible abandonment of a southwest Iowa rail line will be discussed at a meeting here on March 21, Iowa Department of Transportation officials said. The Norfolk & Western Railway has told federal officials it may seek to abandon its 220-mile line from Omaha, Neb., to near Brunswick, Mo., sometime within the next three years. The line runs through Pottawattamie. Mills, Fremont and Page counties in Iowa. The meeting will be held at the Security Trust and Savings Bank. Agricultural lenders will discuss problems AMES, IA. (AP) - Agricultural lenders from around the state are to gather March 14-16 at the Scheman Center for an Ag Credit Conference sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association. Topics will include the future of the ag economy, farm bankruptcies, cash flow problems and on-farm computers. 01 CLEARANCE OVERSTOCKED WAREHOUSE CLEARANCE ENERGY EFFICIENT PAHS We have accumulated 100's of new ceiling fans from all our stores in the midwest and brought this merchandise to our Des Moines location for this sale. WE MUST SELL THESE ITEMS AT RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES ALL NAME BRAND MERCHANDISE ifl mum FDCC Ckinn:nn Anywhere in MIDWEST during this vale PhonOn!re Acctptad f YOUR FAN STORE IN IOWA HOURS: 9-9 ALWAYS IN SEASON 4 gjit Sat 9-6 4)47 MERLI MAT ROAD 274-1011 Sun 114 -i r - nrz t

What members have found on this page

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 18,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Des Moines Register
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free