Dear Jacob: A Mother's Journey of Hope

Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 9.2 X 1.2 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author
Patty Wetterling is a national advocate, visionary, and educator on the prevention of child abduction and exploitation. She served on the board of directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from 1991 to 2021 and was its chair from 2012 to 2015. She also co-founded Team HOPE, a national support group for families of missing children. She is now a national consultant, presenting at child abuse conferences and law enforcement trainings. Patty has received many awards, and she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Minnesotans of the Century by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1999.

Joy Baker, the writer, blogger, and investigative journalist who uncovered key evidence in Jacob's case, blogs at She holds a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota and, for 20 years, was co-owner of a central Minnesota advertising agency. Joy works as an independent marketing consultant, professional copywriter, and writing coach. Her work on Jacob's case has been featured in print and broadcast media as well as true crime podcasts.
"Dear Jacob's exceptional candor, intimate details, and rare behind-the-scenes stories give startling insights into one of the country's highest-profile child murder cases. I covered Jacob's story for decades as a journalist, but I was surprised at how much I didn't know about Patty Wetterling's journey. This book is a must-read for anyone working on unsolved abduction cases, whether they are journalists, law enforcement investigators, or people who want to know more about what happened to Jacob Wetterling."
--Caroline Lowe, former TV crime reporter and journalist

"Patty Wetterling has displayed incredible courage as she's turned her family's grief into meaningful action. As a tireless advocate for missing and exploited children, she has honored Jacob's memory by helping to change countless lives for the better. This book tells that powerful story and inspires us all to make the world a safer place for our children."
--Amy Klobuchar, US Senator from Minnesota

"Dear Jacob shares the trauma of a parent's worst nightmare. The kidnapping of Jacob made Patty and Jerry Wetterling members of the club nobody wants to belong to. This story takes you inside their lives, showing the struggle of not knowing where your child is. The journey of finding hope allowed them to keep moving forward, pushing them beyond what they could imagine life would be."

--Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart

"I could not put this book down. Dear Jacob is the gripping story of a mother's strength and perseverance in the face of agonizing ambiguous loss. Patty Wetterling satisfies our collective need for 'knowing' exactly what happened to her son. At first 'not knowing' Jacob's whereabouts, and then 'knowing, ' Wetterling managed to find hope in both, working for the benefit of sexually abused and missing children. Jacob became everyone's child, and Jacob's Hope is now transformed into hope for a safer and saner world for all children."
--Pauline Boss, PhD, author of Ambiguous Loss and The Myth of Closure

"Following Jacob's abduction, Patty and her family were thrust into a world of unimaginable pain. Each riveting page of this book reveals glimpses of a mother's unwavering devotion to her son and her commitment to bringing Jacob home. Patty continues to honor her son's legacy as a physical embodiment of hope and provides a lifeline for families searching for their own missing children."
--Michelle DeLaune, president & CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

"If you've ever doubted the tenacity of a mother's love, this book will convince you. It conveys the terror of an abduction, the gift of cherished memories, and the importance of promoting a legacy of hope. This extraordinarily inspirational book shows all professionals the need to provide empathetic, trauma-informed care. It is a must-read for counselors, social workers, health care providers, legal and law enforcement professionals, educators, and faith communities, who must first do no harm to those who are walking this incomprehensibly difficult path."
--Sharon W. Cooper, MD, co-editor of Perspectives of Missing Persons Cases and Medical, Legal and Social Science Aspects of Child Sexual Exploitation

"I am so deeply touched by Patty Wetterling's candid account of Jacob's tragic story. I found myself holding my breath with anticipation through much of this book. I cried often, but they were tears of inspiration. It takes so much dedication to become the dogged trailblazer that she is. Patty is a courageous person, and I admire her greatly."
--Pat LaLama, investigative journalist