December 4, 2020
I am wondering who took the footage of the birthday party video. I understand that the video belonged originally to John Vansice. But Vansice is in the footage, meaning that someone else was recording it. I am guessing that Ani Kruse was recording the party since she helped Vansice organize it and since she does not appear in the footage herself, at least that I can see from the clips of the video that aired on the Up and Vanished Final Newscast episode on February 16. But that is a guess. Someone recorded at least parts of the party for Vansice and I wonder if perhaps he also recorded parts of the party himself. If one had access to the entire video it would be interesting to evaluate the footage vis-a-vis whether one person recorded it or more than one person recorded it and what they focused on during the party. I also wonder if there was only one copy of the video, the copy John Vansice owned, which was given to the Mason City PD, or whether there might have been another copy.
I also wonder if someone knows what currently occupies the location where the party was held then. The birthday venue was at the time called Sully's, and the birthday invitation gives the location of Clear Lake on Hwy 18, but the remaining detail ("next to") is cut off from view in footage. Additionally, was a list of people invited to and in attendance at the party given to investigators? I would assume so.
I'm not sure why that last point (where Sully's was) matters to me, except that the reason this case stays in my mind is that at least twice a year I drive from Minnesota to visit family in Nebraska and every time I drive past the Mason City exit on my way through Iowa I wonder what happened to Jodi. I think about her every time and I've never stopped wondering about this case. I sometimes stop in Clear Lake for food or fuel and I wonder where the party happened. She seemed so happy in that footage. She seemed to have no idea that she was in danger. But if, in fact, she had mentioned that she needed to change her phone number to people at the golf outing the day before her disappearance, she was aware of something.
I apologize if these questions have been answered previously. I combed the site as best I could to see if they had been given and I could not find these answers. However, I did not do an exhaustive search of the site.
From here on findjodi.com:
John Vansice, a much older friend of Jodi’s, told police and the media that Jodi stopped by his home that Monday evening to watch a videotape of a surprise 27th birthday party he hosted for her on June 10 at Sully’s bar in Clear Lake. The bar was in a building owned by Aldin Stecker, a friend of Vansice’s. Stecker’s wife recorded video of the party.
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