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Thread: Police Claim a Confession in Etan Patz Case

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Police Claim a Confession in Etan Patz Case

    It looks like there is yet another lead in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz: New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced today that NYPD detectives had obtained an incriminating statement from a new suspect.


    The man, identified as Pedro Hernandez, was taken into custody yesterday, according to the New York Times. He had previously been looked at by detectives investigating the case, though it's not clear when. Manhattan District Attorney recently re-opened the investigation into Patz's disappearance, and the NYPD scoured the basement of a building not far from Patz's Soho home several weeks ago.

    Kelly described Hernandez's statement as "implicating himself in the disappearance and death of Etan Patz 33 years ago." The Times says he hasn't told investigators anything that isn't in the public record about the case. Scrutiny has previously focused on Jose Antonio Ramos, an imprisoned child molester who has always denied involvement. Patz's parents won a $2 million civil judgement against Ramos for his alleged role in Patz's murder in 2004, which they never collected. Each year on his son's birthday and the anniversary of his disappearance, Stan Patz sends Ramos a copy of Etan's "MISSING" poster with the message, "What did you do to my little boy?"

    UPDATE: Hernandez claims to have strangled Patz and dumped his body in a box, the Times is now reporting. The body later disappeared, Hernandez told the police, when he went back to find it.


    UPDATE: Police Claim a Confession in Etan Patz Case



    I've always felt a strong connection to this case. We lived pretty close to where he did, and he was only a couple of years younger.
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I've always felt a strong connection to this case. We lived pretty close to where he did, and he was only a couple of years younger.
    Was he a Brooklyn kid? I'm concerned that this new guy may be like that crazy dude who "confessed" to the Jon Benet Ramsay murder.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    ^ No. But I'm not from Brooklyn. My parents were originally though. I'm a brooklynite by heritage

    This case, and a little girl from Staten Island that disappeared about a year or so after him have always disturbed me.

    I read that this new confession was from someone that they were aware of, and either lived or worked right near the Patz family.
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Each year on his son's birthday and the anniversary of his disappearance, Stan Patz sends Ramos a copy of Etan's "MISSING" poster with the message, "What did you do to my little boy?"
    Geez, I can't imagine living with that kind of agony for decades. I hope they eventually know one way or another what happened to their child.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Man Claims He Strangled Patz and Put Body in Box, Police Say

    A man in custody in Manhattan has confessed to strangling Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished in SoHo on his way to school in 1979, wrapping his body in a bag and putting it in a box, a law enforcement official said on Thursday.

    The confession comes a month after investigators spent five days excavating a SoHo basement near where Etan disappeared in what turned out to be a fruitless search for his remains.

    The news of the confession is the latest chapter in a wrenching story that has tormented the city since Etan's disappearance 33 years ago in a far grittier neighborhood than today's SoHo, with its tourist-clogged streets filled with upscale boutiques and trendy restaurants.

    The man, Pedro Hernandez, told investigators that he had left the box at a location in Manhattan, but when he returned several days later the box was no longer there, the official said. Investigators recently took Mr. Hernandez to that location. A second official also said Mr. Hernandez told the authorities he had strangled the boy and discarded his body.

    Shortly after Etan’s disappearance, Mr. Hernandez, who in 1979 worked at a bodega near where the boy disappeared, moved to the Camden area in southern New Jersey, where he has many relatives, a law enforcement official said.

    Investigators interviewed Mr. Hernandez for much of the day on Wednesday in the prosecutor’s office in Camden County.

    He was placed into custody late Wednesday and taken to the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., whose prosecutors are overseeing the inquiry by New York police detectives and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Investigators were tracking down several of the relatives to interview them to hear what, if anything, Mr. Hernandez has said about the crime. Investigators believe he has alluded or confessed to the crime to several family members over the years, the official said.

    Relatives of Mr. Hernandez have been in touch with investigators in New York and provided “information they knew about him,” a law enforcement official said. The official declined to elaborate, but added that “family members pointed investigators in his direction.”

    Mr. Hernandez was apparently very emotional during the confession, the official said, adding that it was videotaped, which is standard practice in New Jersey.

    “An individual now in custody has made statements to N.Y.P.D. detectives implicating himself in the disappearance and death of Etan Patz 33 years ago,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said in a statement issued early Thursday.

    It is unclear whether investigators have been able to corroborate the account Mr. Hernandez has provided. Without any trace of human remains or other forensic evidence, any possible prosecution of Mr. Hernandez would face significant evidentiary hurdles.

    During his time in South Jersey, Mr. Hernandez does not appear to have been in any trouble with the local authorities.

    Mr. Hernandez and his wife, Rosemary, live in an apartment in the back of a modest two-story tan-and-brown house in Maple Shade, a town of about 19,000 residents east of Camden. The man who rents the front part of the home said Mr. Hernandez and his wife worked with computers, were Pentecostal worshipers and hosted many holiday parties with their friends and relatives.

    "They were good people and he was a good neighbor,'' said the man, Dan Wollick, 71, adding that he and Mr. Hernandez shared chores like mowing the lawn, raking leaves and shoveling snow.

    The investigation into the young boy’s disappearance and presumed death has seen a parade of suspects and a range of theories over the years. Last month, the F.B.I. and the New York Police Department tore apart the basement of a building on Prince Street, just doors away from the longtime Patz family home, along the route the boy took on the day he disappeared.

    He was on his way to a school bus stop. It was the first time that his parents had allowed him to go to the stop by himself. Friday is the 33rd anniversary of the day he disappeared.

    That unavailing search was based on a belief among investigators that a local handyman who kept a workshop in the basement in 1979 had abducted and murdered the boy and possibly buried his body there beneath a concrete floor. Etan’s parents still live on Prince Street.

    Investigators have focused on Mr. Hernandez as a suspect in the past, one official said, although it was not immediately clear when he became the subject of renewed interest.

    "Thirty-three years ago this was a tragedy that broke the hearts of millions of people, especially parents, across this nation,'' Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told reporters on Thursday. "As a father, I just cannot imagine what they have gone through. And I certainly hope we are one step closer to bringing them some measure of relief."

    Mr. Vance said in 2010 that he would reopen the case, which focused national attention 30 years ago on the problem of missing children and began a new era marked by children’s faces on milk cartons and made-for-television dramas about kidnapped children. President Ronald Reagan declared May 25, the day of Etan’s disappearance, as National Missing Children’s Day.

    The police have long had a prime suspect in the case, Jose A. Ramos, a convicted child molester who lived on the Lower East Side and was an acquaintance of a woman who worked for the Patzes as a baby sitter. Mr. Ramos remains imprisoned for molesting a boy in Pennsylvania, but has denied kidnapping or killing Etan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/ny...-say.html?_r=1
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Geez, I can't imagine living with that kind of agony for decades. I hope they eventually know one way or another what happened to their child.

    I don't know if it's true, but the local story has always been the the Patz's have never changed their phone number, just in case.

    I cannot imagine. These poor people.
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    ^ No. But I'm not from Brooklyn. My parents were originally though. I'm a brooklynite by heritage

    This case, and a little girl from Staten Island that disappeared about a year or so after him have always disturbed me.

    I read that this new confession was from someone that they were aware of, and either lived or worked right near the Patz family.
    Okay. I would be very interested to know what details Hernandez could provide that only the invesigators would have known (since they always hold back certain details in case this happens).

    My version of the Etan Patz disappearance was the Lyon sisters - two girls almost the same age as me, who lived nearby, and disappeared without a trace in 1975. They have never been found. I'm not even sure there has been a shred of evidence as to whether they are alive or dead. I'm not sure if it's familiar to people outside the DC area. Wiki link below:

    Lyon sisters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I've never heard about them, very sad. It's kind of like the Beaumont children- 3 siblings vanished- in Australia.

    The girl from Staten Island that I mentioned earlier, her brother also became a police detective. It must have some impact on the siblings left behind. And like the Lyon's case, they've always thought that they knew who did it but couldn't prove it:


    The Charley Project: Holly Ann Hughes
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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Mohandas, I remember the Lyon girls really well. I was about 5 or 6 when it happened. Parents started keeping a close eye on all of us neighborhood kids.

    When I was just a baby a family in our neighborhood had a little girl that was kidnapped and murdered. Right in our neighborhood on her way home from school. Her murder wasn't solved for a few years and I always think that's why I grew up with people that were overly cautious of my whereabouts and well being.

    I hope this poor family can finally know what happened to their boy.

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Was sending a 7 year old down the block at 9:30 at night to a corner store enough to raise eyebrows in 1981 like it is now? I was still too young in '81 to understand what was run of the mill back then.

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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    My Etan Patz is Johnny Gosch. 12 years old, kidnapped while doing is morning paper route. I was in 5th grade and had to stare at his picture every day which was hanging on the wall in Social Studies class. His mother thinks he was kidnapped and sold into a child sex ring.
    RELIGION: Treat it like it's your genitalia. Don't show it off in public, and don't shove it down your children's throats.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    My Etan is Sara Ann Wood. I believe she was around 12 and was riding her bike and just disappeared. Someone did confess YEARS later, but yet, her body has never been found and they actually don't know if the guy truly did it that confessed because he was such a nutjob.

    She was younger than me, but damn...


    I really hope this family is FINALLY getting the closure they deserve. My heart goes out to them, dealing with this for 33 freaking years. My lord...

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Was sending a 7 year old down the block at 9:30 at night to a corner store enough to raise eyebrows in 1981 like it is now? I was still too young in '81 to understand what was run of the mill back then.

    I saw this at Gawker, and thought it was a good description of the time. It definitely describes the way me and many of my friends were raised. I was born in '70.

    They behavior of parent's today is a world apart from parent's raised kids in the 1970's. The radical cultural shifts of the 1960's had an effect on the way kids were raised - independence and freedom for kids was highly encouraged. Parents didn't shelter their children from reality to the degree they tend to today. Today its as if the "helicopter parents" try to create a almost separate, protective, sterile bubble world just for children.
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Thanks for finding that. I was born in the late 70s and was 7 in the mid-80s and we were allowed to play outside all day until it got dark, but after dark I had to come in and my mom wouldn't let me walk around outside by myself at night. But I was elementary school aged after the Adam Walsh thing, and I think that murder scared the shit out of a lot of parents, mine included.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default The Long, Sad Story of Etan Patz








    The Long, Sad Story of Etan Patz


    Today is the 33rd anniversary of the disappearance of Etan Patz, the six-year-old New Yorker whose abduction in 1979 helped usher in a new age of terror and suspicion for American parents. Though Etan was declared legally dead in 2001, his case has never been solved. Yesterday, after three decades of false leads and a menagerie of suspects, the NYPD announced that a New Jersey man named Pedro Hernandez had confessed to strangling Patz and dumping his body somewhere in Manhattan. It's unclear at this point whether Hernandez's confession will hold water, if he acted alone, or if he is just a confused publicity seeker. Here's a look back at the case.

    Who Was Etan Patz?
    Etan was six years old in 1979. He lived with his parents, older sister, and younger brother in Soho, which at the time was a post-industrial warren of artists and squatters. He attended first grade at Independence Plaza School on Greenwich St. He had blonde hair and blue eyes.

    Who Were His Parents?
    His father, Stan Patz, is a commercial photographer who used their Soho loft as a studio (he is still in business). His mother Julie ran a day-care center at the time of his disappearance. Now she is an aide at a Manhattan public school. The Patzes never moved from their Prince St. loft, in part because they feared what would happen if Etan ever found his way back and they were gone. They never changed their phone number, which Etan had memorized, for the same reason.

    What Happened to Him?
    Etan had been growing more independent in the weeks leading up to his abduction, begging his parents to let him walk to his bus stop in the morning on his own. On the morning of May 25, 1979, for the first time, they relented. At roughly 8:00 a.m., he walked out of his apartment at Prince and Greene Streets carrying his backpack and wearing an Eastern Air Lines Future Flight Captain cap. The bus stop was a block and a half away. He didn't get on the bus. No one realized he was missing until after 3:00 p.m., when he failed to come back from school. His parents never saw him again.

    Who Did It?

    Pedro Hernandez


    On May 24th 2012, on the eve of the anniversary of Etan's disappearance, Hernandez was arrested and charged with second degree murder. He worked at a bodega near Etan's house in 1979. Sources have told the New York Times that he had been considered as a suspect previously, but his name doesn't come up in any of the literature about the case. He was reportedly picked up by the NYPD on Wednesday in New Jersey and confessed to having strangled Etan. He told detectives that he wrapped the boy's body in plastic, stuffed him in a box, and dumped it somewhere in Manhattan. When he went back to find the body a few days later, he said, it was gone.

    Update: Pedro Hernandez was taken to Bellevue Hospital and placed on suicide watch at 5:30am this morning. Hernandez, who has cancer, stopped taking his anti-depressant medication and told authorities he was going to kill himself.

    According to ABC News, Hernandez had hinted at a role in the case to family members, who reached out to the police after seeing recent press coverage of the search for Etan's remains. Though some of the details of his confession don't match known facts about the case, he has been charged with Etan's murder.

    Jose Antonio Ramos



    For most of the past 33 years, police suspicion has focused on Ramos, a 68-year-old drifter and convicted child molester who was circumstantially connected to Etan. At the time of Etan's disappearance, according to Lisa Cohen's exhaustive New York magazine story on the case (Cohen also wrote a book about the abduction called After Etan), Ramos was dating a woman whom the Patzes had hired to walk Etan to school during a school-bus strike in the spring of 1979. According to Vanity Fair, Ramos molested the woman's son, who was also reportedly a playmate of Etan's. On at least one occasion, according to Vanity Fair, Etan and his parents happened upon Ramos and his girlfriend on a walk in Washington Square Park.

    Scrutiny on Ramos intensified three years after Etan disappeared, when he was discovered living in a drainpipe in the Bronx and trying to lure young boys there. He eventually made a series of statements to investigators that implied his guilt: Asked how many times he had tried to rape Etan, he responded, "I guess you have a witness. I'll tell you everything." Ramos claimed that on the day Etan disappeared, he had abducted a similar-looking boy who may have been Etan. But he insisted he eventually placed the boy on the subway unharmed. According to Cohen, Ramos also told one jailhouse informant that he knew Etan's schoolbus route by heart, and another that he had indeed abducted the boy.

    But prosecutors could never gather enough evidence to charge him. In 2000, the NYPD searched the apartment Ramos had occupied in 1979, looking for potential DNA evidence, but came up empty. In 2004, the Patzes pursued a civil wrongful death case against Ramos, winning a $2 million judgment. On Etan's birthday and on the anniversary of his abduction, Stan Patz sends Ramos a copy of one of Etan's MISSING posters, with the message, "What did you do to my little boy?" In 1990, Ramos was convicted of child molestation in an unrelated case in Pennsylvania, and sentenced to 20 years. He is due to be released in November.

    Othniel Miller


    Last month, NYPD investigators armed with jackhammers descended on a Soho basement one block from the Patzes' apartment. In 1979, the basement—which is situated on the route Etan would have walked that morning—had been used both as a workshop by Miller, a handyman who worked in the Patzes' building, and as a playspace for a Soho daycare co-op that Etan had reportedly attended. According to the Times, suspicion turned to Miller when, during a recent interview with detectives about the basement, he blurted out, "What if the body was moved?"

    Investigators were also interested in Miller because his wife had recently accused him of raping a 10-year-old girl decades earlier.

    The police looked at Miller back in 1979. On the night before he disappeared, according to Cohen, Miller paid Etan a dollar for some chores the boy had done. Miller told police at the time that they were free to search or dig up his basement as long as they paid for any damage. They declined.

    Even though a cadaver-sniffing dog alerted to the presence of a body in the basement, the search apparently turned up nothing.

    The Patz Family


    No one seriously suspects Stan or Julie Patz of being involved in Etan's disappearance. But they were natural suspects early on in the investigation, and over the years, various detectives have returned to—and ultimately dismissed—the notion that they may have played a role. Stan has failed more than one lie detector test about Etan, including one result indicating deception when he was asked whether he had been in contact with Etan after the disappearance.

    His sister Shira, who was 8 when he disappeared, has often been uncooperative with investigators. According to the Times, she is no longer talking to police, having "shut down" while being interrogated by an FBI agent who recently resurrected the case. According to Vanity Fair, investigators theorized at one point that Shira and Etan had been planning on running away together, and that she chickened out at the last moment.

    Israelis
    The case's most bizarre turn was a 1985 trip by investigators to Israel to track down a lead. In 1981, according to Cohen's After Etan, a Romanian-language Israeli magazine called Revista Mea published a photo of Etan in a "family photo album" feature. The photo, captioned "Etan ben-Haim," had purportedly been submitted by a family living near Haifa. It was one of hundreds of photos of Etan that Stan had distributed to the press in the wake of his disappearance. Two detectives travelled to Tel Aviv to track down the family, but turned up nothing.

    What Happened After He Disappeared?



    Etan struck a deep chord. Along with Adam Walsh, who disappeared in 1981, he became the literal poster child for the inhuman, lurking dangers that children face on the streets of our cities and suburbs. He was the first child whose face graced a milk carton. Ronald Reagan designated today, May 25, the day of his disappearance, as National Missing Children's Day. Coming as it did at a time when New York seemed to be descending into anarchy, and at the tail end of the economic and cultural shocks of the late 1970s, and at the dawn of a massive expansion of electronic media, Etan's disappearance occupied a sweetspot, standing in for creeping national insecurities at a time when our capacity to talk to one another about those fears was exploding. It didn't hurt that he was white, cute, and that his father happened to have hundreds of well-composed, high-quality photographs of him to distribute to the media.

    "If I hadn't have been a photographer with those pictures—if we had been a poor, black family with blurry Polaroids," Stan Patz told Vanity Fair, "this case would have come and gone with the rest of them."

    Why Is This Coming Up Now?
    The 30th anniversary of Etan's disappearance in 2009 was attended by a ton of press, including Cohen's book. That helped induce Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., who took office in January 2010, to pledge to re-open the case. The re-opened leads and renewed interviews led to Miller last month, and apparently to Hernandez this week.


    The Long, Sad Story of Etan Patz (UPDATE)
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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