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Former legislator calls for naming June 27 as Jodi Huisentruit Day

This news story was published on June 22, 2017.
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John Kooiker
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

MASON CITY – It’s been 22 years since Jodi Huisentruit tragically vanished, and some aren’t willing to merely forget the missing anchorwoman, as a former state legislator is calling on Mayor Eric Bookmeyer to declare June 27, 2017, as Jodi Huisentruit Day.

Back in December of 2016, now-retired State Rep. John Kooiker, who represented District 4 in the Iowa House of Representatives, sent a letter to a newspaper reflecting on his time serving in Des Moines. Much of his discussion gravitated to his work on the House Public Safety Committee and cold cases and – most specifically – the 1995 Jodi Huisentruit disappearance. He described in his letter how Mayor Eric Bookmeyer “begged” him to back off and other “strange” reactions to his quest to help solve the tragic case while in Des Moines.

Now, Mr. Koiker is again shedding light on the case of Jodi Huisentruit, who remains missing from Mason City. His letter to Mayor Eric Bookmeyer is below:


Dear Mayor Bookmeyer,

While I am no longer in the Iowa State House of Representatives, I know many people share my interest in solving the tragic Jodi Huisentruit case. I am requesting that you honor the memory of Jodi Huisentruit and the efforts that have been made to bring attention to her case by declaring June 27, 2017, as Jodi Huisentruit Day, as was respectfully recommended to your predecessor two years ago by all of the members Iowa State House of Representatives.

As you know, after being somewhat puzzled at the opposition from the now-retired Mason City police chief for this proposal, I confirmed that leads in this case from South Dakota had not been looked into by the MCPD for at least 7 years. In addition, I confirmed that these same leads were not made known to Iowa DCI by the Mason City Police Department for at least that same period of time. Perhaps that is why there was such opposition to calling attention to this case. Even if it is assumed these leads have now been followed up on, it still means Jodi’s case is unsolved and the public’s help is needed to solve it. So either way, proclaiming your support for solving this case is respectfully requested. And yes, I previously visited with Jodi’s sister and believe she would still be in support of your efforts to draw attention to this case.

I look forward to hearing from you. Attached is the 2015 proclamation request and the follow-up letter I sent to Chief Brinkley last year.

John J Kooiker, Former HD#4 State Representative
3421 Jay Ave
Boyden, IA 51234

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15 Responses to Former legislator calls for naming June 27 as Jodi Huisentruit Day

  1. gail Reply Report comment

    June 24, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Why not a LYRIC AND ELIZABETH day?

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 24, 2017 at 2:52 am

    the police department didn’t mishandle the case, jack schlieper is the one who mis handled it. if you knew what took place at that time you would see it was Jack who screwed it all up. after all it wasn’t just the PD that investigated it, the DCI and FBI were also there so I don’t think that the PD is trying to hide anything as if they were (did) the DCI or FBI would have discovered that, I heard that Jack made the statement when asked if the officers on duty should be notified of some info, “its none of their business”

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    He should be (or had been) requesting an investigation from a higher law enforcement department rather than just request a day of remembrance. Typical politician in just trying to act concerned about this rather than being pro-active in the investigation of the crime when it occurred. Politicians are generally the same, a sad bunch of people.

    • concerned2 Reply Report comment

      June 22, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      That’s exactly what he was doing if you read the linked letters! And two MCPD Chiefs ignored the issue. How can you call him a typical politician? He isn’t even in public office anymore, and he cites the influence of the loss of his own daughter from cancer, who was also 27, as inspiration to pursue this issue.

      Does anyone else see and feel how rotten this whole situation is? 6 years ago a Mason City Police officer accused MCPD higher-ups of obstructing justice and being involved in this case — could it not be that this former State Representative and Maria Ohl were pushing on the different sides of the same mountain without realizing it?

      Police corruption is hopefully rare, and I am not saying it happened in this case, but this situation sure smells. Bad.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    This guy is the worst example of grandstanding. He’s not local, he didn’t even know her. I wonder how missing persons there are from HIS district? Some, I’ll bet. Maybe no pretty blonde girls, though.

    • concerned2 Reply Report comment

      June 22, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      An even worse example of grandstanding would be a Chief of Police who claims publicly all leads are being looked into, including psychic leads, but then to ignore certain other leads for so long. Read this link on Radio Iowa Today from June 2015 and then tell me if there is a disconnect between MCPD’s carefully cultivated public persona, and the reality that leads in this case aren’t being looked into in a timely manner.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    The last concern of the voters.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Exactly. Too bad politicians don’t give two rats asses about what the voter wants.

    • Mister Rick Reply Report comment

      June 22, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Seems like the last concern of the MCPD as well

  6. concerned2 Reply Report comment

    June 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    If you read the proclamation request, it is so much more than just about one missing person. It is about calling attention to cold cases. And indirectly the MCPD’s weird response calls for a full investigation also. Why would the MCPD be so opposed to this unless they are hiding something?

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 22, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Not trying to be a dick, but why does Jody need her own day? There are thousands of missing persons in Iowa and we don’t give them each a day to honor them. Honestly what did Jody contribute to north Iowa besides being a pretty face on the news.

    • Allen Reply Report comment

      June 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

      I somewhat agree with this comment. The only people that will (never) forget about Jody, are her family and friends. The people that (should never) forget, are law enforcement. And the way it sounds, some law enforcement have dropped the ball, and stifled the investigation. As for everybody else, life goes on as usual.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        June 23, 2017 at 6:30 am

        I don’t know if this is grandstanding or virtue-signalling, or what, but I have always thought that Jodi’s case was special because it didn’t seem like a spur-of-the-moment crime and because of her high profile in our community. Anything that sheds light on her case, and anything that brings us one step closer to solving this disappearance is so very welcome. We were all heartened by the eventual solving of the Jacob Wetterling case. Maybe we can hope for something similar here.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          June 23, 2017 at 7:23 am

          Making it Jodi Huisentruit day isn’t going to solve the case. And everyone around the area already has heard of her so again, this grandstanding will do nothing. More lip service from a deadbeat politician

          • concerned2

            June 23, 2017 at 6:01 pm

            The reaction of the Mason City Police Department is stunning, as is their hateful indifference to Jodi’s family. They badly handled this case and they do not want to draw attention to it. Drawing attention to their poor handling of the case will hopefully someday solve the case itself.