Unsolved Mysteries: ‘What Happened to Josh?’


With three more episodes still left in Volume 3 of Netflix’s reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, I think the sixth episode, “What Happened to Josh?” is the most mysterious so far. It’s genuinely baffling and inexplicable.

Here is the timeline of events as I understand it, beginning on the night of November 2nd, 2002:

  • Joshua Guimond, a Saint John’s University (Collegeville, Minnesota) freshman, is at his apartment with three of his friends, two of whom I can’t remember their names and the other, Nick. At some point, Nick leaves to go to Katie’s, Nick’s now-ex girlfriend’s, apartment about seven minutes away on the campus of the College of Saint Benedict. The two universities are part of the private Catholic apparatus, one for men and one for women.
  • We know Josh is still at his apartment at St. Maur’s at 11 p.m. We know they leave the apartment at that time, but Josh keys back into his apartment for an unknown reason at 11:06 p.m. Josh, with the two friends whose names I can’t recall, then walk to Metten Court Apartments, but there is no direct path because Stump Lake (I’ve also seen it spelled Stumpf Lake, which is weird) is directly in the middle.
  • Josh and the two friends arrive at this poker party at 11:30 p.m. It is noted by police that only about 10 to 12 people are at this party (more on that in a moment).
  • Witnesses at the party say that Josh got up around 12 a.m., presumably to go to the bathroom, which is near the exit, and instead never returns.
  • Two witnesses later tell police they saw a male figure in a hoodie and jeans purportedly matching the description of Josh on nearby bridge between 12:15 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. They didn’t see anyone else or a vehicle (also an important detail). That’s the last anyone has reportedly seen Josh.

What the heck? So, I don’t understand what the deal is with Josh’s two friends he went to the party with: a.) they didn’t see him get up and/or inquire where he was going? and b.) once it was clear he wasn’t going to the bathroom, weren’t they curious what happened to him? I want to hear more from these two “friends.” I also don’t understand the other witnesses at the party. As described, this wasn’t some huge frat party where one dude disappearing could easily be missed. This was one person among 10 to 12 people! Nobody has more to say about it? I’m skeptical. But it is also worth remembering that these are stupid, young college kids likely inebriated. I also find it noteworthy, though, that Josh was only presumably at this poker party for all of 30 minutes. That’s a rather short time after making an effort to walk over there and skip going with Nick to Katie’s house to do it.

When police search Josh’s room, they find that his vehicle and his glasses are still there; those are two things he wouldn’t have just up and left without, if he was planning on leaving of his own volition and not returning.

Interestingly, around this same time, two other college boys went missing under similarly mysterious circumstances, with a commonality that they went missing while drinking and near a body of water. The two boys, Chris Jenkins and Michael Noll, would later be found dead in those bodies of water. Presumably, they were wasted and stumbled into the water, drowning. But I don’t think that could have happened with Josh. I mean, yes, he could have also passed out and/or stumbled into Stump Lake or any number of nearby bodies of water (look at the map around Saint Joseph, there are plenty to choose from), but surely his body would have also surfaced as Jenkins’ and Noll’s did? The police dragged the water, used sonar, sent divers down, and even waited until the water thawed in spring and still no body.

The family obtains the services of a private bloodhound team and the bloodhound apparently “alerts” on the Saint John’s Abbey, which was also in the news at the time because of allegations of sexual abuse against the clergyman upon students at the university. The police were skeptical of the bloodhound team’s work and regardless, Josh’s body was not found there. I don’t think Josh was going to uncover some sort of sordid sexual abuse at the Abbey and that is why he was killed. It was already in the news! It was already out there!

Then we learn that someone else overheard an argument between Nick and Josh over Katie. This is where I get confused. So, as mentioned, Josh and Katie broke up not long before Josh went missing. Nick’s timeline of events on the night of Josh’s disappearance is that he left Katie’s apartment at 2:30 a.m. and the key card evidence suggests he got into his apartment around 2:40 a.m. Katie, however, said he left at 1:00 a.m. or 1:30 a.m., which if true, leaves an hour unaccounted for. Katie also makes it seem like Nick did want to date her, whereas Nick makes it seem like they discussed it and they didn’t pursue it further. I thought both were seeming suspiciously coy about their status and that they only kissed “once, maybe two times.” On the other hand, I don’t find it a red flag in the least that Nick turned down taking a polygraph test. As I’ve mentioned before, polygraph tests are junk science, so good on Nick for realizing as much.

The other peculiar item of note is that the police learn that someone used an internet washer on Josh’s computer and apparently they know this was done after Josh’s disappearance, so it wasn’t Josh himself. Who and why? Six years after his disappearance in 2008, detectives again go over his computer and learn that Josh created three different accounts for Yahoo Personals, an online dating service. Two of those profiles were him as a man, and the detective also indicated he found both homosexual and heterosexual porn on Josh’s computer. Nick and Katie don’t think Josh was gay, but as we know, even our closest family and friends don’t and can’t know everything about us.

However, that is where a new motive comes into play: Maybe Josh left the poker game early — or used the poker game as a pretense in and of itself to get out of the apartment — to meet up with someone he had been chatting with on Yahoo Personals. However, that person was setting Josh up because they were mad he was pretending to be a woman when he was really a man. So, they killed him, which Josh getting into a vehicle and being driven somewhere off campus to be killed (or killed right there in the vehicle and then driven off campus) would explain why his body has never been found anywhere on or near Saint John’s campus. But I go back to the aforementioned detail: The two witnesses who said they saw someone fitting the description of Josh on the bridge also said they saw no vehicles. Now, maybe they missed it or the vehicle came later, but that is worth remembering.

I don’t know what happened to Josh. The motive related to the Yahoo Personals is perhaps the strongest theory, though. I don’t think he was like Jenkins and Noll, and I obviously don’t think he’s alive somewhere in Jamaica living his best life. Something happened to him. The other plausible theory the more I consider it is that Nick and/or Katie know what happened to him. Nick doesn’t exactly have an airtight alibi and if he was interested in Katie, it wouldn’t be the first time someone’s killed over love.

What do you think about this case?

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