Ben Jansen walked into Raynor Library on the evening of August 29th, Marquette’s first day of classes, blissfully unaware that it would be the last time he saw the outside world for two months.
“We’re all worried sick about him,” Cory McDowell, Jansen’s roommate, said. “Every day, I wait by the elevator to see if he comes back. We’re starting to lose hope.”
According to several eyewitnesses, Jansen entered the library at around 8:30 p.m. and spent two hours doing homework. He then got up from his table to walk toward the library’s main entrance. While doing so, he called Marquette’s LIMO service for a ride back to his dorm. He naively expected a 10 to 15 minute wait until the van pulled up outside. That could not have been further from what happened.
Ana Kasen was a few feet away from Ben at the time and describes what she saw thusly:
“I distinctly remember hearing a voice on the other end of the line that said ‘We’ll be there soon; have your ID ready and waiting.’ At first, I didn’t think anything of it. Then I came back a half hour later to refill my water bottle and he was still there. An hour later, he was still there, gazing out the window, begging for help.”
“The next day, I came back to the library. Ben was huddled in a corner by the door. He had this distant expression and shook uncontrollably. I offered to walk him back to his dorm, but he murmured something about how the LIMO was coming any minute and he needed to have his ID ready. That was the last anybody saw of him.”
Many Marquette students have been disappointed by LIMOs that have failed to show up, but Ben’s case remained the most egregious. Multiple people, including close friends, family and even Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx put in calls to the service. All of them have been on hold for weeks, holding on to the faintest sliver of hope that their call is, indeed, important.
LIMO dispatcher Anthony Boselli was manning the board the night that Ben called. Boselli claims that there are several reasons why Ben was never picked up.
“Do you know how many people are at house parties turning up at 10 p.m. on a Monday night? At least six,” Boselli said. “We want to make sure that we get everyone who requests a ride, so we stop the car every 8.43 inches. That way, anybody looking out the window of a building and considering whether or not they need a ride home has at least 10 minutes to make a decision.”
Ben’s LIMO has recently been spotted heading east at the intersection of 20th and W. Wisconsin Ave. Based on its current pace, the LIMO will arrive at Raynor sometime around the Winter Solstice.
Nobody has seen or heard from Ben since that fateful August evening. Some say that he roams the basement of Memorial, repeatedly carving the numbers 4-1-4 2-8-8 6-3-6-3 into the walls. Independent investigators have been unable to verify this claim, though. They called their own LIMOs to Raynor and are still waiting for them.
If anybody has any information regarding the whereabouts of Ben Jansen, please dial any number except the one in the previous paragraph. The difference of a few months’ time could reunite Ben with his family.