A Mother’s Nightmare Come True

I was working at a local radio station in St. Cloud, Minnesota the night the news story broke about Jacob Wetterling’s abduction almost 26 years ago. My blood went cold when I heard the details of the story.

Authorities searched for Jacob Wetterling for years but could never find him. What happened to Jacob?

Now we know. A man who has been a suspect in the crime finally confessed to the killing and led authorities to the grave of the young child in an isolated farm field.

As I read the gruesome details of this story almost three decades later, I tried to think of what I would have done if that had been my child?


I live in a small community very close to where the man who confessed to killing Jacob Wetterling used to live.

As I read the story in the paper, I was also noting that on Facebook parents were posting their children’s first day of school pictures. “It really doesn’t seem fair”, I thought.

“How could one person abduct and kill an innocent eleven year old boy and hide in plain sight for 27 years?”

Danny Heinrich admitted to doing similar horrible acts to another boy. How many other young boys hold the nightmare of what Jacob and this other boy went through in their hearts?

I’m certain that if Dante were still alive he would have added another level of hell to his famous inferno just for this man.


As I write this my 25 year old daughter is asleep in her bed. What if this had been her?

I would never have stopped until this man was found, which is just what Patty Wetterling did. Momma bear unleashed.

I shudder to think of the judgement that awaits this man after his life is over.

Our God is a just God but he also does not stand for heinous crimes committed against young children.

Danny Heinrich is said to have been sentenced to 20 years in prison. A sentence I feel is much too light for the acts he has committed.

According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary, “The devil reigns where Christ does not”.

We are not God and cannot judge what this man has done but I feel that Satan truly lives in this man’s heart.

When do these barbaric acts stop? Or won’t they?

Jacob was a sacrificial lamb, just as Christ was who died for our sins. Jacob died so that other children may live lives free of the nightmare that he went through.

Since Jacob’s abduction, the Jacob Wetterling Foundation has been established and the Amber Alert has been created.

According to amberalert.gov, 800 children have been rescued and there are 86 Amber plans throughout the U.S.


I pray that God will judge those who have committed similar crimes. This unforgivable sin will remain with Danny Heinrich for the rest of his days. May God have mercy on his soul.


Author: jmlarcom

Student of Theology at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Mn.

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