The Wetterling abduction story kept getting bigger as the case -- and Jacob's sweet smiling face -- served as a conduit for public fear and grief. Capitalizing on a growing sense that pedophiles lurked in every shadow, the likes of Maury Povich and Geraldo Rivera joined the cause with sensational retellings of the crime and its consequences.
Early on, investigators circulated a number of police sketches, hoping they would generate better leads in Jacob Wetterling's abduction. But sketches can be tricky and lead potential witnesses down the wrong path.
Wetterling investigators used hypnosis to prod memories, but some experts fear the process can cause people to remember things that didn't happen. So while it may help investigations, courts have been wary to accept it as evidence.
DNA profiling has grown up since the Wetterling abduction, becoming both more powerful and, sometimes, as much art as science. It played an important role in shaping the case against the man who led authorities to Jacob's remains.
The closest you can get to a conversation with Jacob Wetterling about his abduction is to talk to Jared Scheierl. Scheierl was walking home from an ice skating rink in Cold Spring in January 1989 when a man who turned out to be Danny Heinrich forced him into a car, assaulted him, and let him go, uttering some chilling parting words: "If they come close to finding out who I am, I'll find you and kill you."
California's San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco is one of few prisons in the nation to offer a college education to inmates. Here's a look at the Prison University Project behind the prison walls.