The Jacob Wetterling abduction

In jail calls, Heinrich said he 'never touched anybody' after Wetterling

Danny Heinrich
Danny Heinrich
Sherburne County Sheriff's Office

From the Sherburne County jail, after he'd confessed to killing Jacob Wetterling, Danny Heinrich told his brother he "hasn't touched anybody" since the 1989 kidnapping.

Transcripts of several phone calls between Danny and David Heinrich are among the 41,787 pages of documents from the Wetterling investigative file Stearns County released last week.

During one phone call on Oct. 23, 2016, less than two months after his confession, Heinrich told his brother that ever since he confessed to the 1989 abduction and killing of Wetterling, "I'm being treated by some people totally different than I used to be" and that many people were angry that he was charged with child pornography, not murder.

"But that's the deal I made," Heinrich said. "I didn't have to confess to this because they didn't have s*** on me as far as Wetterling goes until I confessed. So, they never would have known who if I wouldn't have said anything."

Danny Heinrich said he "was a monster back then, but I stopped."

"I haven't had no sexual contact with anybody, David, since that night," he said. "With nobody."

When he got home that night, Heinrich said, he cried and said, "my god, what have I done."

"I don't know what went wrong. Everything went wrong," he said.

In the conversations with his brother, Heinrich complained about boredom in jail and asked about his cat. He worried about how long he might be in prison and how old he'll be when he gets out.

Heinrich is serving a 20-year sentence at a federal prison in Ayer, Mass. He's scheduled to be released in 2033, when he's 70.

Heinrich talked about authorities blaming him for a series of sexual assaults in Paynesville in the late 1980s. Heinrich said he "was involved in a couple, but not all of 'em because I, I know what I did and what I didn't do."

Heinrich has been linked by law enforcement but not charged for the eight assaults between 1986-88. He did confess to abducting and sexually assaulting Jared Scheierl in Cold Spring in January 1989, nine months before the Wetterling kidnapping.

During another phone call on Nov. 9, 2016, Heinrich said when he's released, he can never come back to Minnesota because he could be civilly committed as a sex offender.

"That's why I'm gonna fight like hell not to come back to Minnesota, because this states hates me," he told his brother.