Donations Wanted for In-Progress Wetterling Documentary
Project Leaders Have Launched A Tour Throughout Minnesota and Neighboring States, Raising Funds for the Film
DULUTH, Minn. – It’s a case millions across the country will never forget.
11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped on October 22, 1989 near his home in St. Joseph, Minnesota.
Now there’s a new documentary in the works examining the story of Wetterling’s case, but the publics help is wanted in order to finish the project.
Click here to donate today.
The online campaign launched April 23 along with a series of special events taking place in five cities including Duluth on May 7.
The tour will also stop in Minneapolis (5/1), St. Joseph (5/6), Sioux Falls (5/13) and Fargo (5/14).
Director Chris Newberry and his filmmaking team have created a brand new trailer for the film, which will be unveiled at each of the five special Trailer Release Parties.
The events will serve as additional fundraisers for the film, and each will feature a speaker from the JacobWetterling Resource Center or local partner, an exclusive first look at this never-before-seen film footage, and a conversation with the filmmakers about what motivated them to tackle this subject.
The presentation will provide insights into the filmmaking process, and will touch on the shocking developments that almost derailed the project in its early days-and how they led to a story arc more powerful and purposeful than anyone could have expected.
“Jacob’s case received so much attention – when he was abducted and again when the truth of what happened was revealed. TheWetterlings are sharing their story, and hoping to direct that attention toward an issue that uses Jacob’s name to make a positive impact,” said Chris Newberry.
“Children need to know that if something bad happens, they can speak up and find trust, support and protection within their community. Our film will help start crucial conversations – ones that both parents and communities need to have – to help end the abuse and exploitation of children.”
The filmmakers reached out to Patty and Jerry Wetterling when Jacob’s disappearance was still a 26-year-old cold case in 2015.
What they couldn’t have predicted when they sought the Wetterling’s participation was that the story was about to explode.
At the end of October 2015, authorities announced they had arrested the man who would ultimately confess to Jacob’s kidnapping, assault, and murder.
Newberry and his crew were there, watching, as the Wetterlings got the answers they had been seeking for decades. And it was bigger than just one family – a nation that had lost its innocence, and a generation of parents who changed the way they approached parenting, finally had resolution. At the same time, word spread about other child victims of Jacob’s assailant, exposing the true cost of burying children’s experiences under shame and silence.
“We were able to capture the Wetterlings’ incredible resilience and show how they turned their very personal tragedy into tremendous good,” said Newberry. “What happened to Jacob was part of a predator’s pattern of behavior, but the secrecy and inability to confront sexual assault on boys in and around Stearns County allowed this predator to roam free. We’re still a long way from building a culture that empowers all children to come forward, but the Wetterlings are determined to change that, and our completed film will be a compelling tool for spreading their message.”