Body of 13-Year-Old Found – 9/21/1983

US History |


On September 21st of 1983, the body of 13-year-old Danny Joe Eberle was found in his hometown of Bellevue, Nebraska. Danny had been delivering newspapers when he was murdered. Forensic testing showed that Danny Joe had multiple stab wounds, had been tied up with a rope, and endured other methods of extreme torture.

FBI investigators has almost no leads on the case, except for a single clue that might help them catch Danny Joe's killer: The rope that was tied on Danny Joe did not match any kind of rope sold in stores, or supplied through manufacturers. Soon after the FBI started looking into overseas rope manufacturers, the body of another boy was found. This boy was twelve years old, and had been tied with the same unusual kind of rope. The mutilated body of Christopher Walden was discovered deep in the woods near Bellevue, buried under a layer of snow.

However, a witness claimed to have seen Christopher Walden with a young man soon before he disappeared. Despite his willingness to be hypnotized, the witness could not recall much about the sighting, except that he remembered seeing a tan sedan. He also seemed to recall some digits from the car's license plate, in no particular order.

Unfortunately, the witness did not provide enough information to help investigators break the case. However, on January 11th of 1984, the operator of a daycare center in Bellevue reported a suspicious looking male individual cruising up and down the street. She gave police the license plate number. The police traced the car to a local auto dealership, who told them the car was on loan to a man named John Joubert, while Joubert's car was being fixed. Police took a look at Joubert's car. It was a tan sedan. Not only that, but two of the digits on Joubert's license plate matched the digits earlier recalled by the witness who had been under hypnosis.

John Joubert was a smart boy who began to read at the age of three, and started borrowing library books at age five. After his parents divorced when he was six, he lived with his mother, who he resented for being so controlling. His mother forbade him to see his father, and spanked him until he was twelve years old. He also had problems making friends. He had begun having sadistic death fantasies at around the age of six.

When police finally caught Joubert, he was carrying a duffel bag containing a knife, and that same unusual type of rope. As it turned out, the rope was specially made for the military in the Far East, and it had been brought back to the United States by a friend of Joubert.

John Joubert was charged with two counts of murder. Further investigation revealed that the killer had also killed an eleven year old boy in Maine.

John Joubert was convicted of two counts of murder in Nebraska, and sentenced to death in 1984. Later, he was convicted of murdering the boy in Maine. John Joubert was finally executed in 1996. 

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