Hello everyone. I found this podcast after watching Unsolved Mysteries and hope to offer my insight since I’m struck by the similarities in Josh's life with my own. While I remembered his case — along with other young men around my age who went missing or drowned at the time — the latest revelations about Josh are eerily familiar.
I’m two years older than Josh, grew up in a small town in neighboring Wisconsin, accomplished political science and pre-law student at a private, Catholic university in the upper Midwest, and had ambition to run for president (not uncommon with poli sci and pre-law majors). I also questioned my sexuality, watched different types of porn, and eventually met guys online (chat, cam, then hooked up) — all of which began not long after I broke up with my long-term girlfriend.
I’ll elaborate on my experiences and theories in later posts if anyone is interested in the mindset Josh might have had, but I’m curious if @Joshua Newville or anyone else is able to answer a few questions. I work alongside law enforcement and eager to get their opinion.
They did note that some baffling or suspicious details in unsolved cases are benign and police tend to withhold certain names and clues to protect the investigation. They also frequently have contact with the suspect early on — whether they are aware of it or not — in cases of foul play. While less skilled investigators may have dismissed vital evidence or theories in the beginning, competent investigators in later stages solve even the most perplexing cases by studying victimology and patterns of behavior along with reliable evidence. They also review theories that were definitively ruled out to be sure but if they’re leaning in a specific direction, there is usually a good reason.
Were any of the monks or university staff active online and did one or more abruptly leave with or without explanation after Josh disappeared (and possibly returned months or years later)?
I know Katie and Nick doubted Josh was gay, but the friend from high school hinted otherwise. That could be suggestive editing by Unsolved Mysteries, but did any of Josh’s friends doubt or explicitly deny he was bisexual, experimenting, or questioning?
Did students have the ability to buzz open doors for visitors? Did they frequently prop open outside doors when running an errand or to let in visitors?
Did the sleeping roommate have access to or admit that he used Josh’s computer?
Did any friend or roommate admit or explicitly deny washing Josh’s computer or are we assuming they did or did not? When exactly was the program installed and used?
Did the police confirm if they have complete chats from one or more of the same users Josh purportedly had contact? Do we at least know if the data is incomplete, dated, encrypted, or otherwise not homogenous?
I don’t recall if Yahoo in 2002 notified a user when another reported them for violations. For example, an email about “please remember to follow the rules” or “your profile has been removed or suspended due to…”