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Thread: Etan Patz - missing since 1979

  1. #26
    It was aliens raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/r...-etan-42898715

    Retrial Opens in Influential Missing-Child Case of Etan Patz

    Painting a picture of a crime that shattered a bygone era's sense of safety, prosecutors Wednesday opened the retrial of one of the nation's most influential missing-child cases, the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz.

    "It's a cautionary tale, a defining moment, a loss of innocence(asterisk)(asterisk)," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said as opening statements began. "It is Etan who will forever symbolize the loss of that innocence."

    Suspect Pedro Hernandez sat impassively as his retrial opened in a case that eluded investigators for decades, racheted up Americans' consciousness of missing children and now centers on whether a chilling confession was true. A jury deadlocked last year.

    With Etan's father and Hernandez's wife and daughter looking on, the trial began as an echo of the haunting story that unfolded over four months last year — so haunting that about eight of the prior jurors and alternates were in the audience Wednesday to watch.

    Prosecutors say Hernandez, 55, hid a brutal secret for more than 30 years. His lawyers say he's mentally ill and falsely confessed to waylaying and killing Etan as he walked to his school bus stop on May 25, 1979. It was the first day his mother granted his big-boy wish to make the two-block walk by himself.

    It was an era when parents were more comfortable letting children roam their neighborhoods unaccompanied, even in New York City, Illuzzi stressed. And Etan's case helped end it.

    The upbeat, trusting 6-year-old's body was never found, but his face became one of the first missing children's portraits that Americans saw on milk cartons. The anniversary of his disappearance became National Missing Children's Day, and his parents helped push for a law that modernized how law enforcement handles missing-child cases.

    "As human beings, all of us ... have sympathy for the Patz family. That is not the issue here," defense lawyer Harvey Fishbein said during jury selection. He's due to give his opening statement later Wednesday.

    Hernandez, of Maple Shade, New Jersey, wasn't a suspect until police got a 2012 tip from his brother-in-law. He was among several relatives and acquaintances who later testified that Hernandez said years ago he'd killed a child in New York. While most stayed mum, the brother-in-law said he'd tried calling authorities for years but never got a response until 2012.

    Hernandez himself then told authorities, on video, that he'd choked Etan after offering him a soda to lure him into the basement of the convenience store where Hernandez worked, right by the boy's stop.

    "Something just took over me," Hernandez said. "... I'm being honest. I feel bad what I did."

    Prosecutors suggest the motive was sexual and depict Hernandez as a cunning criminal.

    "You will see a man with very good memory, controlling and very aware of what he was going to say and what he wasn't going to say" when he confessed, Illuzzi told jurors Wednesday.

    But the defense aims to persuade jurors all Hernandez' admissions are fiction, imagined by a man with a history of hallucinations and an IQ in the lowest 2 percent of the population, and eventually fueled by more than six hours of police questioning off-camera.

    Defense psychological experts said Hernandez had given them dreamlike accounts of the killing, at points saying as many as 15 mysterious people were on hand, some wearing hospital gowns and pearls. He wavered on whether or not it actually happened, the defense doctors said.

    "From his perspective, the level of reality is all the same," psychiatrist Dr. Michael First, an editor of a widely used diagnostic manual for mental disorders, testified at the first trial.

    The defense also suggests the real killer may be a convicted Pennsylvania child molester who was a prime suspect for years. He has denied involvement in Etan's death.

  2. #27
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    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local...412414223.html

    Man Found Guilty of Murdering 6-Year-Old NYC Boy Who Vanished in 1979

    A jury has found a man guilty of felony murder and kidnapping in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who became one of the country's most iconic missing children when he disappeared from his SoHo bus stop nearly 40 years ago.

    Pedro Hernandez, 56, was acquitted of intentional second-degree murder in the decades-old case, meaning jurors did not believe he meant to kill the little boy, but he still faces up to life in prison.

    The jury panel of eight men and six women reviewed more than 300 trial exhibits over the course of their nine days of deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan before reaching their decision Tuesday.

  3. #28
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    I remember this from when I was a little kid....I hope the family finds peace in this.
    You're entitled to your own opinions. You're not entitled to your own facts.- D. Moynihan
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  4. #29
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    http://6abc.com/news/man-gets-25-yrs...-patz/1888587/

    Man gets 25 years in 1979 case of missing boy Etan Patz

    Almost four decades after first-grader Etan Patz set out for school and ended up at the heart of one of America's most influential missing-child cases, a former store clerk convicted of killing him was sentenced on Tuesday to at least 25 years in prison.

    Pedro Hernandez's sentencing was the culmination of a long quest to hold someone criminally accountable in a case that affected police practices, parenting and the nation's consciousness of missing children.

    A judge sentenced Hernandez to 25 years to life in prison, meaning he won't be eligible for parole until he has served the 25 years. Hernandez has no visible reaction to the sentence.

    Etan's parents, Stanley and Julie Patz, attended the sentencing and said they will "never forgive" Hernandez for what he did.

    "Pedro Hernandez, after all these years we finally know what dark secret you had locked in your heart," Stanley Patz said. "... The god you pray to will never forgive you. You are the monster in your nightmares, and you'll join your father in hell."

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