Not long ago, someone asked me an interesting question: a question I frankly had not previously given much thought to. The person asked how I would feel if someone not currently affiliated with the FindJodi team were to take our information and ferret out key details that would directly lead to a suspect, an arrest, and the ultimate closure of the Jodi Huisentruit case. In other words, how would I feel if someone swooped in, grabbed some or all the information I and others had painstakingly collected, and ultimately took credit for solving the case?
Well, I can tell you how I would feel.
Our mission to find out what happened to Jodi in 1995 would be complete, and I, for one, would be thrilled!
I liken it to a football game. Ultimately, only one guy on the team can take the football across the goal line to score a touchdown, but there are ten other players on the team that help make it happen. Everyone plays a part, and in the end the entire team is rewarded, even though that one guy actually carried the ball over the line. In the course of playing the game, the ball is advanced through a joint effort. The team gains yardage and sometimes loses it, but the overall plan is to get the ball into the end zone.
That’s our plan…to get the Jodi case into the end zone. I think we are well beyond the fifty yard line.
I firmly believe Jodi died the day, perhaps the very hour of her disappearance. This is not a rescue operation; this is an operation of justice for her and her family. It’s become an operation of duty for me and others. Beyond the confines of the FindJodi team (Josh, Gary, Caroline, Jay, Tara, and me) is a far bigger number of contributors and others who have taken interest in the case. If someone outside our little team were to score the final touchdown, I would know that we’d played a key part.
I do not do this because I secretly hope to get the glory for the resolution of the case. Sure, as the author of Dead Air, I like publicity (what author doesn’t?!). I do this because the Jodi Huisentruit story has become an integral part of my life and my history. My interest in the case did not begin with the intention to write a book, and it did not end when the book was published. Far from it, it has expanded, and sometimes I still find myself on the road, still talking to some of the key players in the case. I can be found at times knee-deep in the notes and files that have resulted. And at times I still love nothing more than to sit with Gary Peterson and talk for hours about minute details of the investigation.
If someone else outside of our little team were to find that closure, take the credit, and collect the “Holy Cow, Gee Whiz” lauds of the media, I would honestly be very pleased. I would know that we had played our part well. And I’d probably write another book!