If you’ve been following this site for any length of time, you know that the eighteenth anniversary of Jodi’s Huisentruit’s disappearance is fast approaching. Our regular subscribers can be assured this site will be especially active in the weeks preceding the observance on June 27. You’ll want to check in frequently over the coming weeks.
I am privately noting another anniversary of my own – it’s been two years since Dead Air was published and released. It marked a new chapter in my career, and boy, what a two years it has been!
I might have privately fantasized about how the book would have helped to break this cold case wide open. That hasn’t happened…yet…though I (and others here) still hold out hope. But it has certainly brought a new level of depth to the entire investigation.
Like any other book, Dead Air has garnered its share of detractors and supporters (thankfully, there have been many more of the latter, and I’m happy to say it has been very well-received). I’ve found people are eager to hear about it. They’re eager to ask questions, too. During a speech before a local service club recently, I was asked a couple of particularly interesting point-blank questions which I’d like to share with you. One man was very direct in asking me to delineate exactly how things have changed since the book was published. Another one in the group asked if another book is forthcoming.
Let me answer the last question first, because it’s an easier (and shorter!) answer. I am writing more, and it may well turn into another book in the near future. In addition, I write for this site, for my blog, and for my speaking and training work.
But I really think of myself of an accidental author. You see, after leaving the television news business in the ‘90’s, I forged a career as a professional speaker and corporate trainer, and have enjoyed a good measure of success. The pursuit of both of those careers came as a result of what I think comes naturally to me. I like to tease people that I have only two real talents in this life: I can tell a story AND I can walk and talk at the same time (quite a feat!). Those talents have served me well in my work life, and frankly, I’m just grateful to be paid to do it! Dead Air evolved almost naturally as a component of the story-telling side of me. In other words, I didn’t set out to become an author, it just happened that way.
The answer to the first question is a bit more detailed and thoughtful. So what has changed over the last two years? The FindJodi website was already well-established when I started to write the story, so Dead Air, in a general sense, added to an already-created foundation for the Jodi Huisentruit case. Perhaps we can call it a benchmark of sorts, coming out a full sixteen years after Jodi’s disappearance. But more specifically, and maybe more importantly, it served as a catalyst – “stirring the pot,” as it were. It did so in several ways.
First and foremost, the general public got caught up in the case again, and there has been a resurgence of interest by both local and national media outlets. Investigation Discovery TV, as part of its Disappeared series, recently aired a well-received documentary that brought the case to a national audience once again. That interest and publicity has led to more information. You might say folks came “out of the woodwork.” Since Dead Air’s release, many thoughtful and genuine people reached out with specific observations that may or may not have relevance to the case. (A few cranks reached out as well, but that’s to be expected.)
I have heard much more from those who spent time with Jodi and her local circle of friends, and who knew what was happening in Mason City, Iowa in 1994 and 1995. As a result of this, we’ve been able to contact others for interviews and gained insight from those we might not have met otherwise. New names and theories have been put forward, and the relationships we have developed in the course of the interviews can only help the cause.
This substantial resurgence of interest is only one of many ways this case has been propelled forward over the last two years. In my next post, I’ll share several other important changes we have witnessed. Stay tuned.
Purchase book here: Dead Air – The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit