Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John Joubert, Nebraska Boy Snatcher

A Suspect

A week after the murder, a young man was picked up for molesting two young boys.  Pettit uses the pseudonym Alvin.  The case against Alvin looked pretty good: He failed a polygraph, lied about his alibi, a sample of his hair was consistent with the hair found on Danny Joe, and he had suspicious items in his home, such as a rope, tape, and a knife.  To the task force, he seemed to match the kind of person they were looking for, but Ressler, who had watched him being questioned, believed he was not the guy.

Photo: Task Force Organization
Task Force Organization

The task force was in a tough position, because they just weren't certain.  They did not want to get the wrong person, but they also wanted justice for Danny Joe and his family, as well as closure for the community and a restoration of the feeling of safety.  In the end, thanks to sparse evidence, they decided against charging Alvin for the crime.

They then questioned known pedophiles in the area, including an Air Force major who liked cruising for boys and a gay man who persuaded boys to undress for photographs.  They checked out one person after another, but found nothing to incriminate any of them in the case.  The lack of evidence was frustrating and eventually, the murder of Danny Joe Eberle became a lower priority.  It seemed that whoever had done this had managed to slip away.  He might not even be from the area.  They could only hope that, whoever he was, he would not strike again.  But that was too much to hope for.


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