Who Took Johnny

Twelve-year-old Johnny Gosch disappeared early one morning in September 1982 while delivering newspapers around his neighborhood in West Des Moines, Iowa; he’s never been found, though nine years after his disappearance a former male prostitute came forward to claim that the boy had been exploited in a child sex ring operating out of Omaha, Nebraska. Documentary makers Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley, and David Beilinson (who also collaborated on Battle for Brooklyn) interview Johnny’s parents (whose marriage eventually collapsed from the trauma) and reconstruct an era before the milk-carton portrait and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, when few had even heard of human trafficking and child disappearances were seldom taken seriously by local law enforcement. The Gosch case helped change all that, but as this disturbing video argues, Johnny may have been so shamed and corrupted by his experiences as a sex slave that he’ll never return home.