Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.
A Parent's Worst Nightmare
On a pleasant September morning in 1982, a 12 year old boy disappeared in West Des Moines, Iowa. His name was Johnny Gosch. What transpired that day was the beginning of a worldwide eye-opener to the atrocities of pedophilia and child trafficking in America. One woman, Noreen Gosch (Johnny's mother), out of grief and desperation, began a personal mission to reveal the truth behind her son' s kidnapping and expose an unbelieveable politically linked cover-up. For this reason, I dedicate this article to Noreen Gosch, who stands alone as a pioneer, pillar of strength, and symbol of courage for her relentless pursuit of justice in the name of moral humanity.
Johnny was kidnapped while he began his morning paper route for the Des Moines Register in West Des Moines, Iowa on September 5, 1982. Witnesses to the kidnapping state that a man stopped and asked Johnny for directions. Johnny told another paper boy that the man frightened him. He was followed until he was out of sight of the others, then snatched by 2 men who held him down in the back seat of an old Fairmont. Witnesses saw the car screeching tires as it made a hasty getaway.
No one present reported the strange incident immediately. It wasn't until Johnny's parents received a phone call wanting to know why the newspaper wasn't delivered that they realized something was wrong. When Johnny's father discovered his wagon full of undelivered newspapers, he immediately informed Noreen and the police were called.
This is where the story gets strange and humiliating. The police were slow to respond and considered Johnny to be a runaway, even after questioning reports of the screeching vehicle and the strange behavior of the man asking for directions. But Noreen Gosch was a force to be reckoned with. She immediately begin phoning friends and acquaintances to organize a search party because the police department was doing nothing. What started as a peaceful morning for a blended family, turned into a nightmare that extends to this very day.
Noreen Gosch Conducts Her Own Investigation
As the days and weeks went by, Noreen realized she wasn't going to get the help she needed from the local authorities or the FBI. She contacted local and national media to cover the story, which was shown nation-wide on many television stations across the country. She contacted a private investigator who followed up on leads that were never pursued by law enforcement. What she learned horrified her: Johnny was kidnapped for the sole purpose of use in a global pedophile and pornography ring. He was not killed. He was being kept alive and subjected to trauma and torture of a satanic/sexual nature to beat down his self-consciousness to make him vulnerable to brainwashing. Why? So he would become a "slave" to the very cult that abducted him.
About 6 months after Johnny's kidnapping, a woman was approached by a young boy in the parking lot of a convenience store in Oklahoma screaming "I'm Johnny Gosch, I've been kidnapped!" He was immediately accosted by 2 men who grabbed him and were never seen again. Over the next few years, other evidence surfaced. A dollar bill was turned over to the Gosch's with the following message "I am alive. Johnny Gosch." Noreen confirmed this was Johnny's handwriting. Another clue surfaced in Denver, Colorado. "Johnny Gosch was here" was found written on the wall, in red nail polish, in the restroom of a public eatery. Noreen knew in her heart her son was alive. She would never give up her fight to reveal the hushed truth about his abduction.
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Other Victims Come Forward
Noreen learned that the child sex trafficking organization that took Johnny had direct connections to extreme "higher ups", including the CIA, the military, and politicians in Washington DC. This information was later confirmed by other victims of the same ring. Over the years, with the help of media, friends, and private investigators, Noreen was able to personally meet with these victims who had actually been with Johnny and knew him personally. They were able to give her updated information on his condition, but didn't know where he was. Noreen learned that Johnny and another boy had eventually escaped their captors and were living in hiding, fearing for their lives.
Johnny's Visit in 1997
Noreen never gave up her search for Johnny. She continued to give regular press releases, made public appearances, and engaged in activism on behalf of missing children. Through her efforts, Johnny and other kidnapped victims became the first abducted children to have their pictures placed on milk cartons in hopes of someone coming forward with information on their whereabouts. Many leads came in over the years, but none that led her directly to Johnny.
Early one morning in 1997, not long after Noreen made a television appearance with a special message for Johnny, she was awakened by a knock on her door. She looked through the peephole and saw 2 young men. She stated, "Who is it?" A voice answered, "Mom, it's me...Johnny. Can I come in?" She immediately opened the door and instantly knew this was the son she hadn't seen for 15 years. Their meeting was short-lived. Johnny hadn't come home to stay; he came to ask his mother for help. He gave her a brief account of the last few years. The pieces of the puzzle began to come into place as Noreen finally confirmed what she'd known all along. He was very nervous during their reunion and declared he was still in great danger and needed his mother to help bring his abductors to justice so he wouldn't have to live in fear the rest of his life. Johnny stayed with Noreen for only a few hours, then left before daylight, disappearing into the night to leave his mother with nothing but the secret memory of his visitation.
Noreen Continues Her Fight for Justice
Noreen Gosch has persistently continued to bring national attention to the plight of her son and the countless other innocent victims who have been tortured by networks of pedophiles connected to the same ring who abused Johnny. Noreen published a book in 2000 titled "Why Johnny Can't Come Home" to give a detailed account of everything she learned connected to the case. The book is packed with information she's accumulated over the years, including shocking truths about the lies and cover-ups of the very authority figures we depend on to protect us.
Noreen founded The Johnny Gosch Foundation in 1982, shortly after his disappearance. The purpose of the organization, according to the website, is..." to educate others as to the reality and seriousness of kidnapping, pornography and how it could happen to your family! The dangers of Pedophiles and how cunningly they operate in our country."
Johnny's story has been told on many national radio and television talk shows including America's Most Wanted, Vanished, With Beth Holloway, and Geraldo at Large. It's important to keep the story alive so that there can be justice for those victims who have suffered at the hands of this evil organization.
The quest of one woman, born out of grief and desperation, became a personal mission to reveal the truth behind a national tragedy. The story of Johnny Gosch remains the most shocking account of child abduction in recent history. If it weren't for the efforts of Noreen Gosch, a pioneer and pillar of strength who stands for courage and truth, the sad narrative of Johnny's fate would never have been revealed. As for Johnny, he's somewhere out there waiting for the justice that's long overdue.