Johnny Gosch and Writing

Dec. 1 at home after from spending Thanksgiving with our son and his family, I saw a program about Johnny Gosch. I remember Johnny’s story because he’s about the same age as our son, Steven. Johnny was abducted from a West Des Moines, Iowa street while delivering the morning paper. It was 1982 and he was 12. Steven was a paper boy at that time as well, and Steve and I began helping our son deliver his papers after the report of Johnny’s disappearance.

Johnny has never been found. His parents divorced in the 90s, and his mother, Noreen, reported that Johnny came to her house one night in 1997. He told her not to tell anyone because he’d be killed, so she didn’t report his visit right away.

Our family is fortunate not to have had to face this horror, and I extend my prayers and heart-felt compassion to the Gosches and other families who have had to endure this tragedy.

What does Johnny Gosch have to do with writing and writers? His case:

* offers a multitude of opportunities for a reporter to investigate one of these crimes and possibly help solve it.

* motivates someone to write about an organization or various organizations that assist families of abducted children.

* provides a chance for someone to write publicity for an organization that assists families of abducted children.

* gives the nonfiction writer a chance to delve into the psyche of the abductor.

* write about creative ways children can avoid being abducted.

This is just the start. Anyone out there with more ideas?

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

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  4. ana says:

    Jo Ann,
    I don’t know of any other way to contact you. I received two BB&T checks in the mail with your and your husbands name on it. I believe it to be fraudulent; please contact me asap. I found you my googling your name.

    • Jo Ann Mathews says:

      I think I answered this at another site.
      You are right. This is a scam.
      Thanks for letting me know.

      Jo Ann Mathews

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