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Pruin Case/Jodi
April 15, 2010
11:15 am
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Greg-in-Florida
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Hi everyone: I would love to get some discussion going. I was just reading the featured article about the Billy Pruin case and the possiblity that it could be connected with Jodi's disappearance. Did anything ever come of this investigation? Anything anyone can share? I'd be especially interested to hear from anyone in the Mason City area at the time of the Pruin death and Jodi's abduction in regards to whether locals think there could be a connection.

What about all of you who follow the case? Do you think there could be anything here, or just another dead end? I would love to hear from anyone, but Josh, Gary, or The Cat got any feelings you don't mind sharing on this?

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I teach at the college level, and in one of my courses, my students have to write an essay centered on their personal reactions to crime in America. For the past three semesters, I have shown my classes the 20/20 report on Jodi's case. It's always interesting to hear input/theories, etc. from people who have never heard of the case, but just base their gut reactions on the 20/20 report itself. As I said in an earlier post, I wish the case should get some renewed media attention (don't know if you all agree; sometimes I don't get many comments, but that's cool :))

I hope everyone is doing well.

April 17, 2010
1:01 am
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navy boi
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I've been following the case through the newspaper since it happened and started research and been following closely for a few years now. This is one of the stories in the archives I overlooked and tonight was my first time reading it.

My opinion: Pruin's death is very suspicious. "no prints were found on the gun and brown paper bags were placed over his hands." Sounds like a murder to me. Connected to Huisentruit? Probably not.

Does anyone know if Pruin was a drinker? Did he go to the bars in town?

I ask this because I've known someone who did some drinking, said a few things at a bar, and the guys came back a few days later, broke in, and knocked him out cold.

It's something that happens on occasion in North Iowa. People get talking in a bar, and the other guy(s) come back later and get back.

The circumstances are also very different from Huisentruits. They left the body to be found as they did in Folkert's case. They found the murderer there and there clearly isn't a link. In Huisentruit's case, they went through great lengths to hide the body. I would say that the most important clue that we have right now in Huisentruit's case is how carefully it was planned, even down to hiding the body so that it would never be found.

April 17, 2010
1:44 am
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navy boi
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One thing that perplexes me is that it took the MCPD 11 years to discover a possible link here.

I know in the mid 90s, everyone I knew kept an address book or at least wrote important phone numbers in their phone book. A woman with a lot of connections like Jodi would have most certainly had one. Pruin's name would have been in it being that he was a 'very good friend'. That address/phone book would be a very important piece of evidence to the investigators.

How did they overlook it? How? I really can't come up with anything but ignorance within the police department. The more I learn about this case, the more respect I lose for the MCPD.

Not to mention they harass my wife in December just because she's a young female driving an expensive car with out of state liscence plates. Good job Mason City PD. Keep up the good work! Maybe in another 11 years you might be able to put some of the evidence you have together and come up with an official POI in this case!

May 5, 2010
1:05 pm
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Greg-in-Florida
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Navy Boi,

Thanks so much for taking time to respond to me. I really appreciate it. I always enjoy readnig your posts.

May 7, 2010
12:16 am
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Piecesofapril62
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I was just reading the article from the "anonymous" woman who claimed to have seen some strange activity the day before Jodi vanished. The article was only partially there, so please correct me if I've missed something. The woman did mention seeing some headlights under a bridge early in the morning hours as she was running. She claimed she had assumed it was drug activity as well. Just wondering after reading that, how close that was to where Jodi lived? Also, since Jodi was in the news/reporting career (for lack of a better term), could it have been possible she was aware of drug activity somewhere close by and was possibly watching so it could be investigated? Or, possibly illegal drug activity right in her own community (apartment complex). Just a thought I had. That possibly someone knew she was watching or that she was 'aware' of some illegal activities. I'm sure lots of people living right there in her complex knew who she was. Thank you for allowing me to post...just some random thoughts.

May 7, 2010
6:03 pm
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Greg-in-Florida
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Piecesofapril62, thanks for posting your thoughts. That's a very interesting angle that I hadn't considered-- that maybe Jodi could have known about something illegal occurring near her place.

June 11, 2010
1:21 pm
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Curious as a cat
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What did Pruin do for a living? Where did he work and with who? Did he see something at work illegal? Who were his closest friends? How did he know Jodi? I am curious to know this since I don't live in Mason City.

June 11, 2010
1:51 pm
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the cat
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Curious,

In May of 2009 Gary Peterson posted his extensive research on the Pruin case on Jodi's website. His post is below.

the cat

=====================================================================================
Death case could be related to Huisentruit case

By Gary Peterson on 05-09-2006

Click on: http://www.findjodi.com/bnews2.htm

There’s new information in the June, 1995 disappearance of popular Mason City anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit. KAAL-TV reports that prior to Jodi’s abduction, a very good friend of hers was shot at his rural farm home just south of Mason City. His name was Billy Pruin.

Billy was a guy that everybody liked, as far as we can tell. He had proposed to his girl friend, Gretchen Tusler on Sunday, April 2nd, 1995. On Tuesday, April 4th, Pruin took his pickup to Mason City to pick up a new tractor he had just purchased. He left the pickup at Brakke Implement and drove his new tractor home. Calls to Pruin that night went unanswered.

On Wednesday, April 5th, a friend went to the farmhouse to check on Pruin. The door was open about 4 inches and his keys were in the outside lock of the door. He called out to his friend and received no answer so he left.

The next morning Pruin’s mother went to the house to check on Billy. She found him dead in the dining room. Investigating officers responding to the scene reported that it was apparent their had been a gunshot wound to the chest. The expended slug from Pruin’s .44 magnum had hit the ceiling and fell to the tile floor in the kitchen.
Initially his death was ruled a suicide but later changed to undetermined.

The friends of Billy Pruin could not believe he would commit suicide and were shocked by his death. One of the people that was troubled by his death was Jodi Huisentruit. According to friends and relatives of Jodi, she was possibly investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. Jodi was abducted almost three months after the death of Billy Pruin. There have been suspicions Jodi found something out .

One of the people that knew Jodi and Bill is Lanee Good. Lanee sat down with KAAL's Gary Peterson and outlined her doubts about the Pruin death. She believes Pruin was in a hurry to get into his house. He left his keys in the outside lock of the door, crossed the kitchen and entered the dining room, getting his revolver. Somehow the revolver discharged, Lanee believes there was a struggle and Pruin was shot.

Good, when interviewed by sheriff’s officers, said that “she was quite concerned about Pruin's death and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death". She stated that one of the things that bothered her about the circumstances surrounding Pruin's death was that, later in 1995, a very close friend of Bill’s by the name of Jodi Huisentruit also turned up missing.” Ms. Good stated that this might just be coincidental and possibly can be explained; however, Ms.Good is concerned that possibly the two may be related.

When Peterson asked Deputy Lichman of Cerro Gordo County Sheriff about the information in the report that he investigated, and if that comment was ever given to Mason City Police, he said, “not that he was aware of”. Likewise, Lt. Ron VanDeweerd of Mason City Police Department said he had no knowledge of Pruin’s death until he read the report the first week in May of 2006 when KAAL-TV asked for further information.

According to the Sheriff’s report, there were no identifiable pints on the revolver that Billy reportedly had in his hand. His hands were placed in paper bags, but there is no record of any gunshot residue on them or any of the clothing he had on.

Billy’s fiancé said he was “afraid of something” several weeks before his death.

Jodi Huisentruit had voiced similar concerns prior to her abduction. In fact, she had written her best friend Kelley Torgelson in Mississippi and told her that “she was concerned for her safety, that she was being stalked”. Kelley turned the letter over to Mason City Police right after Jodi’s disappearance. Ironically, Kelley received the letter on June 27th, the day Jodi was abducted.

The Cerro Gordo County Medical Examiner referred our calls to the State Medical Examiner in Des Moines. Upon inquiring into the case, the State ME said they were still waiting on the autopsy report from Cerro Gordo County. This report is normally sent to the state soon after the case is investigated and the autopsy completed. It was 11 years in April when Billy Pruin was killed.

The State Medical Examiner did say that they agreed with the report after they had a chance to review it.

All Content © Copyright Findjodi.com 2003-2006. All Rights Reserved.
=====================================================================================

October 11, 2012
5:42 pm
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Twid
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the cat said
I've been following the case through the newspaper since it happened and started research and been following closely for a few years now. This is one of the stories in the archives I overlooked and tonight was my first time reading it.

My opinion: Pruin's death is very suspicious. "no prints were found on the gun and brown paper bags were placed over his hands." Sounds like a murder to me. Connected to Huisentruit? Probably not.

Does anyone know if Pruin was a drinker? Did he go to the bars in town?

I ask this because I've known someone who did some drinking, said a few things at a bar, and the guys came back a few days later, broke in, and knocked him out cold.

It's something that happens on occasion in North Iowa. People get talking in a bar, and the other guy(s) come back later and get back.

The circumstances are also very different from Huisentruits. They left the body to be found as they did in Folkert's case. They found the murderer there and there clearly isn't a link. In Huisentruit's case, they went through great lengths to hide the body. I would say that the most important clue that we have right now in Huisentruit's case is how carefully it was planned, even down to hiding the body so that it would never be found.

It would be a little obvious  to see the killer of Pruin carrying a dead guy out of his own house in broad daylight. No one knew he was dead, nothing became of it, so why worry. On the other hand, the killer of Jodi was so obsessed with her that he did not want  ANYONE to ever be able to look at her again .SHE WAS HIS. He has hidden her so well that she will never be found and he knows it. Remember, at the Birthday Bash when Cornseed threatened Pruin for dancing with Jodi and said if you ever do this again I will kill you. Pruin told his fiance that he was scared of someone or something. Guess who.

October 11, 2012
5:44 pm
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Twid
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the cat said
What did Pruin do for a living? Where did he work and with who? Did he see something at work illegal? Who were his closest friends? How did he know Jodi? I am curious to know this since I don't live in Mason City.

He and Jodi were once an Item. I think he probably met her at the "Othre Place" a local watering hole .

June 25, 2013
1:15 pm
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I posted this under another topic but will post here as well. Sorry for the repetition.
I have followed this case for years. I was visiting Swea City when this occurred and saw the first broadcasts regarding Jodi's' disappearance. I've never thought the intention was to kill her at the scene in the parking lot, and I do not believe she was. She may have been injured by happenstance in the abduction, but I believe the intention was to take Jodi to "talk to her," "get through to her," or "straighten something out," whether that be about something illegal she happened to find out; an obsession with her; or a problem in a relationship. I do not believe her body was "dumped" within 30 minutes, an hour, or even a few days of her abduction. I believe she was alive for a time; then when the abductor realized she could not be swayed, she could not be freed due to repercussions. That is when I believe the abductor began a plan for her death and for secreting her body. If it was an obsessed person, I believe her body would have been buried in a place the abductor could keep an eye on and visit, even memorialize, as the obsession wouldn't die with Jodi's death - for she's now his "forever." A person obsessed with her would probably give great thought to her final resting place if he went through the trouble of abducting her. Any problem Jodi might have had with a drug dealer; her friends murderer; or a person of some other illegal activity, would probably have gotten her killed and her body left at the parking lot scene - it makes more of a statement... The altercation heard by "ear witnesses" does not strike me as words said to a stranger, especially if the use of a name is true; and I don't believe it was a stranger abduction.
I do not believe, either, the reason was because of something she learned or was involved with illegally. I think it was obsession and the abductors patience had run out; possibly due to watching her with other men and couldn't stand it another minute...I do, however, believe it was someone known to her. Jodi may not have known it was the same person stalking her due to dark tinted windows on the pick-up truck on the previous occasions and a different vehicle may have been used in the abduction to detract attention. If the abductor was involved in drugs and in a meth-induced psychosis, he may have had another whacked out druggie helping him, which could explain the "pacing" off the jogger (paranoia). Could also explain no talking over the years - one could be dead or they just don't remember the details. Could also explain the waiting in the parking lot - no sense of time for a meth-head...only the goal.

February 23, 2015
5:42 pm
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Former MC Kid
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I know this 

February 23, 2015
5:52 pm
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Former MC Kid
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Sorry, my last message got cut off...

I grew up in Mason City and was going into sixth grade at Newman when Jodi disappeared. I lived on South Maryland (636 to be exact) at the time. During the fall of '95, we did our annual school fundraisers. I was a total dork and canvassed the neighborhood to sell my cheeses and wrapping papers, and it turned out that I was the top seller that year. My biggest sale? A guy who lived down the block -- John Vansice. When my mom saw that name filled out on my sheet, she flipped. I don't remember much about him, other than that I thought he was really nice and invited me into his home... 

But that's not why I'm posting.

Someone mentioned the name Lanee Good before. Lanee was my mom's best friend. She owned a bar on the south side of town called Miss Goodbar. She was basically like my cool aunt for the next couple of years. That said, can anyone explain her involvement, other than being a friend of Pruit? Did she know Jodi? What was their affiliation? Lanee and my mom became friends about a year after all of this went down... At least I think so; hard to remember time-frames since I'm 31 and not 11 anymore. I do remember thinking it was weird that whenever Lanee would babysit my brother and me, it was at her parents house. I'm pretty sure she lived with them. It makes me wonder if she moved back home because she thought she may be a target or something... She was a successful business owner in the town; why would she have lived with her parents?

Really grateful to have found this website. Jodi's disappearance really affected that whole town, and is something I think about to this day. I also heard some interesting stories from the guy I used to buy weed from in high school about "what really happened" to Jodi, but looking back, that was probably just a couple of burn-outs making stories up to impress their customers...

March 6, 2015
4:27 am
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Former MC Kid
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i'm awaiting moderation one week later... how can we discuss anything if nothing can be posted?!?!?!

March 6, 2015
12:19 pm
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Your post has been approved. If you post more often, it auto approves.

Josh Benson | Co-Founder, Administrator | FindJodi.com, Inc | jbenson@findjodi.com

March 16, 2015
12:49 am
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A small detail but in Jodi's case her car keys were left in the door of her car (bent during a struggle).  In this case his keys were left in the door to his house.  If there were a connection, and I'm not saying that there is, I would say the person in both cases knew to wait (hideout) and then rushed them as they were trying to get into their car/house.  That could be a similar M.O.

March 22, 2015
9:46 pm
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I agree with Retro. I think the same technique might have been used in both cases. This is pure conjecture on my part, but it's possible Pruin got home with his new tractor, saw a truck/car/van he recognized parked in his farmyard and, knowing that person's presence meant confrontation, rushed into the house to get his weapon.

May 5, 2015
12:50 am
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If it were me and I saw either a strange vehicle or one of someone I feared I'm not going to rush into the house to potentially meet this person face to face,  especially not knowing if they are armed.  I'd turn back around and head for the cop shop or the nearest house to call 911 (remember it's 1995 and few in MC are carrying cell phones).  To me it seems more likely that Pruin didn't know anyone was there and got ambushed.  The question remains, why.

 it's possible Pruin got home with his new tractor, saw a truck/car/van he recognized parked in his farmyard and, knowing that person's presence meant confrontation, rushed into the house to get his weapon.

May 8, 2015
2:11 am
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They both had just made large purchases also.  Jodi had just purchased the car (or it was bought for her-have never heard which), and Pruin had just bought the tractor.  

January 20, 2019
4:49 pm
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Twid said

the cat said
What did Pruin do for a living? Where did he work and with who? Did he see something at work illegal? Who were his closest friends? How did he know Jodi? I am curious to know this since I don't live in Mason City.

He and Jodi were once an Item. I think he probably met her at the "Othre Place" a local watering hole .  

Twid said

It would be a little obvious  to see the killer of Pruin carrying a dead guy out of his own house in broad daylight. No one knew he was dead, nothing became of it, so why worry. On the other hand, the killer of Jodi was so obsessed with her that he did not want  ANYONE to ever be able to look at her again .SHE WAS HIS. He has hidden her so well that she will never be found and he knows it. Remember, at the Birthday Bash when Cornseed threatened Pruin for dancing with Jodi and said if you ever do this again I will kill you. Pruin told his fiance that he was scared of someone or something. Guess who.  

Didn't JV get into a little tiff with Pruin over Jodi's attention at a bar?  JV referred to Jodi as "my girl" and told Pruin to back off or something to that effect, or what you had said?  I never read the kill threat, but heck if the shoe fits...  Interesting to note- Pruin's house keys were found in the doorlock to his home.  Jodi's car key was bent and found in the doorlock to her car.  Kind of the same lay in wait and ambush style attack while the person is coming or going from their residence.  Coincidence?  Me thinks not. It'd be kind of obvious to invite someone over to your house or make plans that they might risk telling someone else about and then they are never seen or heard from again after that.  You'd wait and do it a different time where you can have some plausible deniability. Unless of course you blurt out you were the last person to see her alive.  That statement likely was true. 

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