Documentary to take closer look at Jacob Wetterling case

May 01, 2019 07:11 PM

It was the missing person case that haunted Minnesota for nearly 30 years.

Now a new documentary, called The Jacob Wetterling Documentary, seeks to provide audiences with the most candid look yet at the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling.

The documentary features Jacob's parents Jerry and Patty opening up about the case like never before.

The Wetterling Files

There is footage of Jacob before he was abducted.

"Today on Oct. 12, I am 5-feet tall, my whole name is Jacob Erwin Wetterling, my favorite food is steak, my favorite color is blue," home video shows him saying.

It then continues with a candid look at the life of a family that lost so much. But it's something Patty and Jerry wanted to share - to make sure the world Jacob knew never disappears.

"I can tell you it was a comfortable quiet community until our son was kidnapped, and everything changed," Patty said.

RELATED: 'We can't change what's happened, but we can learn from it': Sheriff outlines missteps in Wetterling Investigation

Filmmakers Chris Newberry and Norah Shapiro started working with the Wetterling family in 2015, the year before Jacob's remains were found in a shallow grave near Paynesville.

"The honor of the Wetterlings letting us tell this story and delve into it is an extrordinary thing," Shapiro said.

Newberry and Shapiro are making the documentary because people across the state have been so impacted by Jacob. But also to acknowledge the family led a movement to reform laws, and the advocacy for children that evolved.

"That's what is so powerful about this story," Newberry said. "The resilience of so many people, especially those that were closest to Jacob."

"It's so easy to talk about what you're mad about and fighting against, and this is an opportuntity to show what we are fighting for," Patty said. "What was the world that Jacob knew and believed in, because I refuse to let that go." 

A fundraising event to complete the film was held in Minneapolis Wednesday night, and it will be followed by four more around the state.
Patty and Jerry plan to attend the St. Joseph event, scheduled for Monday.

The filmakers are hoping to raise $60,000 through a Go Fund Me campaign.

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Jessica Miles

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