Did Top Cops Murder News Anchor, Fire Fellow Officer for Investigating?

Veteran Officer Maria Ohl has been terminated for alleged mishandling of information provided to her implicating two Mason City Police Officers, along with a member of the of the (DCI) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, in the 1995 disappearance of news anchor Jodi Huisentruit. She has since been legally declared dead though no remains have ever been found to date. Officer Ohl was terminated from her position on August 4th, after months of assigned desk duty in which she was assigned virtually no work to actually do. Bill Basler has since retired form the DCI, while officers Ron Vande Weerd and Frank Stearns have risen to rank of Lieutenant in the relatively small department.

Here is an excerpt from the Wiki entry on the one-time news anchor...

Jodi Sue Huisentruit (born June 5, 1968 – declared legally dead May 2001) was a television news anchor for KIMT, based in Mason City, Iowa in the United States. She disappeared in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995 and is believed to have been abducted. She was 27 years old at the time.


On the day before she disappeared, Huisentruit participated in a golf tournament and then visited the home of Mason City resident John Vansice. According to Vansice, she came to his home to view a video tape of the birthday party that he had arranged for her earlier in the month.[1]

At about 4:00 AM on June 27, 1995, KIMT producer Amy Kuns noted that Huisentruit had failed to report to work as scheduled, so she called Huisentruit's apartment. Huisentruit answered the telephone, explained that she had overslept, and said she was preparing to leave for the station. By 6:00 AM, however, she had still not arrived, and Kuns filled-in for her on the morning show "Daybreak." At about 7:00 AM, KIMT staff called the Mason City police.

When police arrived at Huisentruit's apartment they found her red Mazda Miata in the parking lot, as well as evidence suggesting there had been a struggle near that car. Among other evidence, Huisentruit's personal items, including her keys, were found strewn about the area and police reported recovering an unidentified palm print from her car.


The ensuing investigation revealed at least three neighbors in her apartment complex who said they heard screams at about the time Huisentruit would have likely been leaving for work. In addition, a neighbor who lived nearby reported seeing a white Ford van with its running lights on parked in Huisentruit’s parking lot at about the same time. This van was never positively identified.

In September 1995, the Huisentruit family hired private investigators from McCarthy & Associates, Investigative Services, Inc. (MAIS) in Minneapolis, MN who in turn enlisted the assistance of Omaha, NE private investigator Doug Jasa. McCarthy and Jasa appeared on several national television shows, including; "America's Most Wanted" and "Unsolved Mysteries."[2] In November 1997 they and members of Jodi’s family traveled to Los Angeles to meet with three prominent psychics. This meeting was televised and served as the pilot for the "Psychic Detectives" television show. Although each show generated a large volume of leads, none resulted in concrete evidence or the identification of a suspect.

In May 1996, about 100 volunteers searched an area of Cerro Gordo County and left flags to mark anything that appeared suspicious. Each of these sites was then re-examined by law enforcement, but no promising evidence was located.

Since Huisentruit's disappearance in 1995, police and private investigators have conducted more than 1000 interviews relating to her disappearance.[3] None has resulted in conclusive evidence pointing towards a suspect. Huisentruit was declared legally dead in May 2001.[4]

There have been periodic resurgences in the story. When new cases arise that appear to bear similarities to Huisentruit's or remains are found in the area, speculation quickly leads to a connection with the missing reporter. So far, however, no suspect has been tied to Huisentruit's disappearance and all remains have proven to be from other sources. In 2005, many media outlets, including 20/20,[5] again focused on the story as the 10th anniversary of the disappearance approached.

In early June 2008, photocopies of the 84 pages of Huisentruit's personal journal were anonymously mailed to a local newspaper.[6] The Mason City Globe Gazette received the material in a large envelope with no return address and a June 4 postmark from Waterloo, IA. The original journal has been in the possession of law enforcement since the investigation of Huisentruit's disappearance began.[7] Within days, Mason City Police reported that the sender had come forward and then identified her as the wife of the former Mason City Police Chief. Although noting that the former chief had inadvertently taken a copy of the journal home when he left office, the police gave no motive for his wife sending the copy to the newspaper.[8]

The FBI, the Mason City Police Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and MAIS's investigators are all still actively working on Huisentruit’s disappearance, and the television show "Nancy Grace: America's Missing" spotlighted her case on February 23, 2011.

The emphasis there is mine. Seems that maybe the former Chief's wife might have had some insight herself into the case and hoped to stoke the flames under the cold case.

Here are links to two newspaper reports on the case...



The information that whistleblower Maria Ohl has come by, appears to have come by way of her brother-in-law and local Pastor Shane Philpott. In the following document the Pastor recounts how he was told in a June 2007 telephone call that two police officers were involved in the disappearance of Huisentruit. The out of state caller had been compelled to make the call following a television show about the case.

Alarmingly, the caller's allegations were similar to those made to the same Pastor in 1999, but Mason City resident Gerald Best. Mr. Best was found murdered later that same year. That case too, has never been solved.

Read the full PDF document here...


And finally, here is an interview with Maria Ohl, terminated police officer and whistelblower...



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