Home Feature Articles Press Releases Does Book Hold the Key to Solving One of the Midwest’s Biggest Mysteries?
Does Book Hold the Key to Solving One of the Midwest’s Biggest Mysteries? PDF Print E-mail

Dead_Air_Web_CoverBy Rachel M. Anderson

It has been nearly 20 years since her disappearance, but people who live in the Midwest haven’t stopped thinking about Jodi Huisentruit. The former morning anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa, disappeared without a trace on June 27, 1995.

Police don’t know what happened to her, but one thing is clear – foul play was involved. When they arrived at her apartment complex that morning, police found Huisentruit’s belongings strewn through the parking lot and her blood on the side mirror of her car, but there was no sign of the young anchor woman, who was just 27-years-old when she disappeared. Over the years there have been hundreds of leads followed and dozens of theories about what may have happened, but to this day the case remains unsolved.

To most Midwesterners it is a sad case that gives them pause every so often, but to Beth Bednar it is a whole lot more. Huisentruit’s disappearance shook the former main anchor at one of the competing TV stations in the Rochester/Austin/Mason City market to the core.

Bednar had just retired from a 20 year career with KAAL in Austin, Minnesota, when Huisentruit disappeared. “Even though I didn’t know Jodi there is really a sisterhood of females who are on the air. It really did affect me very deeply,” said Bednar, who has thought about the disappearance every day since it happened.

About a year ago, a conversation with a former colleague led her to do an investigation of her own into the case. Based on what she uncovered Bednar dismisses one of the more popular theories, that Huisentruit was kidnapped by a stalker.

“I don’t believe for a moment it was a random act of violence. I think she was abducted by someone she knew, someone she had met before, maybe even in a casual kind of situation like at a bar or restaurant or party or something like that. I do believe she was acquainted with the person who did her in.”

In Dead Air The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit, the book she published last year through Beaver’s Pond Press of Edina, Minn., Bednar carefully lays out several theories about what may have happened to Huisentruit. They are based on conversations she had with Huisentruit’s friends, former colleagues and investigators who have been working the case for close to 2o-years.

The book begins with an open letter to Jodi Huisentruit’s abductor. In it she writes, “Rest assured, I do not know who you are (although I wish I did). To this date you remain unnamed and uncharged in connection with this case, and no information contained herein will likely change that. I am merely the reporter.”

She ends the book with acknowledgements to those who helped her put it together, including Gary Peterson, co-founder of the website, www.findjodi.com. It serves as a clearinghouse for information about the case.

Peterson became news director at the station where Bednar had worked, KAAL TV in Austin, Minnesota, a few years after Huisentruit’s disappearance, and was involved in an award-winning 13-part TV news series about the case. “I never met Jodi but have gotten to know her through her friends and am hoping the work I am doing will ultimately help solve the case,” said Peterson.

As for Bednar’s book he says, “It’s a good book. It needed to get written.”

Bednar agrees. “My background is as a journalist and I have always enjoyed the process of finding out about stuff and writing a story. Jodi’s story needed to be told.”

Copies of Dead Air The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit are available at bookstores everywhere, as well as on Amazon.com and direct from the publisher, www.beaverspondbooks.com. The hardcover retails for $24.95. The audio book sells for $17.95.

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By Rachel M. Anderson

It has been nearly 20 years since her disappearance, but people who live in the Midwest haven’t stopped thinking about Jodi Huisentruit. The former morning anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa, disappeared without a trace on June 27, 1995.

Police don’t know what happened to her, but one thing is clear – foul play was involved. When they arrived at her apartment complex that morning, police found Huisentruit’s belongings strewn through the parking lot and her blood on the side mirror of her car, but there was no sign of the young anchor woman, who was just 27-years-old when she disappeared. Over the years there have been hundreds of leads followed and dozens of theories about what may have happened, but to this day the case remains unsolved.

To most Midwesterners it is a sad case that gives them pause every so often, but to Beth Bednar it is a whole lot more. Huisentruit’s disappearance shook the former main anchor at one of the competing TV stations in the Rochester/Austin/Mason City market to the core.

Bednar had just retired from a 20 year career with KAAL in Austin, Minnesota, when Huisentruit disappeared. “Even though I didn’t know Jodi there is really a sisterhood of females who are on the air. It really did affect me very deeply,” said Bednar, who has thought about the disappearance every day since it happened.

About a year ago, a conversation with a former colleague led her to do an investigation of her own into the case. Based on what she uncovered Bednar dismisses one of the more popular theories, that Huisentruit was kidnapped by a stalker.

“I don’t believe for a moment it was a random act of violence. I think she was abducted by someone she knew, someone she had met before, maybe even in a casual kind of situation like at a bar or restaurant or party or something like that. I do believe she was acquainted with the person who did her in.”

In Dead Air The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit, the book she published last year through Beaver’s Pond Press of Edina, Minn., Bednar carefully lays out several theories about what may have happened to Huisentruit. They are based on conversations she had with Huisentruit’s friends, former colleagues and investigators who have been working the case for close to 2o-years.

The book begins with an open letter to Jodi Huisentruit’s abductor. In it she writes, “Rest assured, I do not know who you are (although I wish I did). To this date you remain unnamed and uncharged in connection with this case, and no information contained herein will likely change that. I am merely the reporter.”

She ends the book with acknowledgements to those who helped her put it together, including Gary Peterson, co-founder of the website, www.findjodi.com. It serves as a clearinghouse for information about the case.

Peterson became news director at the station where Bednar had worked, KAAL TV in Austin, Minnesota, a few years after Huisentruit’s disappearance, and was involved in an award-winning 13-part TV news series about the case. “I never met Jodi but have gotten to know her through her friends and am hoping the work I am doing will ultimately help solve the case,” said Peterson.

As for Bednar’s book he says, “It’s a good book. It needed to get written.”

Bednar agrees. “My background is as a journalist and I have always enjoyed the process of finding out about stuff and writing a story. Jodi’s story needed to be told.”

Copies of Dead Air The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit are available at bookstores everywhere, as well as on Amazon.com and direct from the publisher, www.beaverspondbooks.com. The hardcover retails for $24.95. The audio book sells for $17.95.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is being offered to you cost free and copyright free. Photography is also available for free upon request. For review copies or to arrange an interview  of your own with Beth Bednar, contact Rachel M. Anderson, Publicist at  952-240-2513 or via e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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