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Academics Campus & Community

Patty Wetterling and co-author Joy Baker to speak Dec. 5 at CSB’s Benedicta Arts Center

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are honored to host an inspiring evening with Patty Wetterling and her co-author Joy Baker at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center. All are welcome to join our community for dynamic discussion with the mother who captured our hearts, prayers, and ongoing admiration as she maintained hope during the 27-year search for her son, Jacob.

Patty Wetterling, a name synonymous with resilience and hope, has touched many through her decades-long journey following the disappearance of her son, Jacob. Her new book, “Dear Jacob: A Mother’s Journey of Hope,” co-authored with Joy Baker and published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, offers an intimate look into the untold aspects of this heart-wrenching story. The event is free and open to the public although tickets are required. A book signing and reception will immediately follow.

This event will also be livestreamed, making it accessible to all interested.

The hardcover book, priced at $29.95, will be available to purchase. It delves deep into the investigation of Jacob’s disappearance, the family’s struggles, and Patty’s resilient spirit. Jacob’s story holds a cherished place in the hearts of the St. Joseph and CSB and SJU community.

Patty Wetterling’s influential work has earned her recognition as one of the 100 Most Influential Minnesotans of the Century, a testament to her enduring legacy and impact on child safety and advocacy.  She has become a prominent speaker and educator, and her advocacy efforts led her to Washington, DC, where in 1994 Congress passed the Jacob Wetterling Act, establishing a national sex offender registry. From 1991 to 2021, Wetterling was a board member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, serving as its chair from 2012 to 2015. Additionally, she co-founded Team HOPE, a national support group for families of missing children.

Co-author Joy Baker’s investigative blogging played a crucial role in unraveling the Jacob Wetterling case, leading to a significant breakthrough in 2016. Her collaboration with local resident Jared Scheierl brought to light a series of overlooked assaults, including Scheierl’s own kidnapping experience.

This event stands as a poignant reminder of the power of hope, resilience, and determination in the face of unimaginable challenges. Patty Wetterling and Joy Baker’s collaborative work sheds light on a story that has profoundly affected many, serving as an inspiration and beacon of strength. This evening is a chance to honor the enduring impact of Patty Wetterling’s advocacy and the significant strides made in child safety and support for families of missing children.

Joy Baker and Patty Wetterling

Joy Baker (left) and Patty Wetterling have collaborated on a book, Dear Jacob: A Mother’s Journey of Hope. They will speak at a public event Dec. 5 at the College of Saint Benedict.