“An amazing, lunatic documentary that will leave you creeped-out, excited and surprised” -JOHN WATERS, DIRECTOR OF HAIRSPRAY AND CRYBABY
“This film is utterly unforgettable” -CRITERION CAST
If you’ve ever gotten separated from your child for just a few moments and remember the depth of panic that sets in, then you can begin to understand what Noreen Gosch has felt over the last 30 years since her son Johnny disappeared delivering newspapers in West Des Moines, Iowa on the morning of September 5, 1982.
More than any other missing child case, Johnny’s story has spawned countless theories and has instilled intrigue in the millions who remember the kid on the side of a milk carton.
WHO TOOK JOHNNY captures the endless intrigue and conspiracy theories surrounding the eye-witness accounts, compelling evidence and emotional discoveries which span three decades of the most spellbinding missing person’s case in U.S. history.
ABOUT THE FILM
In 2001, while at an industry screening for our film Horns and Halos at HBO headquarters in New York, we were approached by writer Nick Bryant with an intriguing pitch. He told us he had a once-in-a-lifetime story to tell. He had spent years investigating a child prostitution network that was conveniently covered up a decade earlier. In researching the scandalous allegations of the Franklin Federal Credit Union, he came upon the connection to a bizarre story of the first missing kid on a milk carton – Johnny Gosch. After learning more about Johnny’s case, we became intrigued and cautiously began to pursue a film about it.
It took over 10 years of shooting and thousands of miles traveled to capture dozens of interviews, edit hundreds of hours of footage, and sift through tens of thousands of documents and photographs to make Who Took Johnny.
There are currently almost 90,000 unsolved missing person cases in the department of justice database, and it’s clear that even with all of the advancements in technology and public awareness, the problem of missing and exploited children has only gotten worse since Johnny disappeared over 30 years ago. Understandably with such an ugly issue, people would rather skip-over reading about these stories or change the channel of a news report, pretending the problem doesn’t exist, rather than confront the brutality of the exploitation and trafficking of children in our country.