Moments after Danny Heinrich abducted Jacob Wetterling on a rural road in Minnesota, the man handcuffed the 11-year-old boy and forced him into a car.
Jacob looked at Heinrich and asked, "What did I do wrong?"
Soon, Jacob was dead.
Giving graphic details in a Minnesota courtroom, Heinrich laid to rest a 27-year-old mystery: What happened to Jacob in 1989 after he was abducted by a masked man holding a gun?
Heinrich admitted in court Tuesday that he abducted, sexually assaulted and killed the boy.
Now 53, Heinrich made the admission as he pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, the Associated Press reported.
He told the court that he sexually assaulted the boy in a rural area of Paynesville, near where the assailant lived with his father.
During the assault, Heinrich told the court that Jacob said he was cold and wanted to go home, according to CBS affiliate WCCO. Later, Heinrich thought police were headed to his location, WCCO reported, adding:
Heinrich panicked and took out his revolver as Wetterling had his back to him. He then pulled the trigger, but the gun didn't go off. He pulled the trigger again, shooting Wetterling in the back of the head. He shot a third time, and Wetterling collapsed.
He buried the boy about 100 yards away.
On Tuesday, according to the AP, Henrich was asked in court whether he had abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered Jacob.
"Yes I did," he said, with Jacob's parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, in the courtroom.
His testimony capped a week of dramatic developments in Jacob's case, which began last week when Heinrich led investigators to the boy's body in field in Paynesville.
Jacob, 11, was abducted on Oct. 22, 1980.