Saturday, September 02, 2006

From the X-Files of Missing Children

Any time the subject of missing children comes up, the baffling case of Johnny Gosch comes immediately to mind. Johnny Gosch, you may recall, was a 12-year-old paperboy who disappeared from his route in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1982.

The reason his case is so strange and mysterious is that there have been enigmatic hints over the years that he's still alive. Someone claiming to be Johnny even called his mother in 1997. The mother is convinced that it was actually he. And now, there's another bizarre development.

Two photographs were just recently left at the front door of Gosch's mother in Des Moines. She's been sent photographs before, of a live but captive Johnny. The old photos show a boy identified as Johnny Gosch with his mouth gagged and his hands and feet tied. The boy is wearing the same sweatpants Gosch had on when he disappeared.

Regarding the newly delivered photos -- same subject, same scenario -- Mrs. Gosch said, "It's like reliving it. But the bigger picture is, 'Why are they doing this?'"

Why, indeed? What kind of person would be cruel enough to torture the mother of a missing child this way for over twenty years?

Investigators have confirmed the photos are authentic and likely taken within "hours or days" of Gosch's abduction. This means that someone has been doling out these photos for twenty-four years. Why?

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