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Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
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2Wycked Offline
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Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
Justice served for one of America's most famous missing children --

[Image: 120420012849-ac-pkg-foreman-etan-patz-00...ry-top.jpg]

Quote:NEW YORK -- A former store clerk was convicted Tuesday of murder in one of the nation’s most haunting missing-child cases, nearly 38 years after 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared on the way to the school bus stop.

Pedro Hernandez showed no reaction as jurors delivered their verdict. Another jury had deadlocked following 18 days of deliberation in 2015, leading to a retrial that spanned more than three months. Hernandez, who once worked in a convenience store in Etan’s neighborhood, had confessed, but his lawyers said his admissions were the false imaginings of a mentally ill man.

This time, the jury deliberated over nine days before finding Hernandez, 56, guilty of murder during a kidnapping in a case that shaped both parenting and law enforcement practices in the United States.

Some of the jurors from the first trial attended the second one, and several of them wept Tuesday as the verdict was read. The slain boy’s father, Stan Patz, was being comforted by the ex-jurors and appeared to wipe tears from his eyes.

“I am truly relieved and I’ll tell you, it’s about time,” Stan Patz told reporters.

He said he didn’t expect the first jury to deadlock, but said the prosecutors’ presentation answered questions for him about his son’s disappearance.

“I needed to know what happened to my son,” Patz said. “This great prosecution team finally proved it – at least I knew it back then, regardless of the verdict, at least I know what happened.”

Patz said he had spoken on the phone briefly with his wife. He said she was crying.

In a statement, District Attorney Cyrus Vance said Etan’s case “will no longer be remembered as one of the city’s oldest and most painful unsolved crimes,” CBS New York reports.

“The disappearance of Etan Patz haunted families in New York and across the country for nearly four decades,” Vance said. “Etan’s legacy will endure through his family’s long history of advocacy on behalf of missing children. However, it is my hope that today’s verdict provides the Patz family with the closure they so desperately deserve.”

The Patz family and authorities may never know exactly what became of the boy. No trace of him has been found since the May day he vanished, on the first day he got the grown-up privilege of walking alone to the bus stop about two blocks away in the then-edgy but neighborly SoHo section of lower Manhattan.

Etan became one of the first missing children ever pictured on milk cartons, and the anniversary of his disappearance has been designated National Missing Children’s Day. His parents lent their voices to a campaign to make missing children a national cause, and it fueled laws that established a national hotline and made it easier for law enforcement agencies to share information about vanished youngsters.

And his disappearance helped tilt parenting to more protectiveness in a nation where many families had felt comfortable letting children play and roam in their neighborhoods alone.

“It’s a cautionary tale, a defining moment, a loss of innocence,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said in an opening statement. “It is Etan who will forever symbolize the loss of that innocence.”

Prosecutors said after the verdict was announced Tuesday it provided some measure of justice for the Patz family.

“I just want to thank God this jury has worked so hard to a just and truthful verdict for the Patz family, who has suffered so terribly for almost four decades,” Illuzzi said.

The decades-long investigation took investigators as far as Israel, but Hernandez wasn’t a suspect until 2012, when renewed news coverage of the case prompted a brother-in-law to tell police that Hernandez had told a prayer group decades earlier that he’d killed a child in New York. Authorities would later learn that he’d made similar, if not entirely consistent, remarks to a friend and his ex-wife in the early years after Etan vanished.

After police finally came to Hernandez’ Maple Shade, New Jersey, door, he confessed, saying he’d offered Etan a soda to get him into the store basement, choked him, put him in a box — still alive, he said — and left the box with a pile of curbside trash.

“Something just took over me,” Hernandez said in one of a series of recorded confessions to police and prosecutors. He said he’d wanted to tell someone, “but I didn’t know how to do it. I felt so sorry.”

Prosecutors cast his confession as the chillingly believable words of a man unburdening himself, and they argued it was buttressed by the less specific admissions he’d made earlier to his relatives and acquaintances.

Defense lawyers and doctors portrayed Hernandez as man with psychological problems and intellectual limitations that made him struggle to tell reality from fantasy — and made him susceptible to confessing falsely after more than six hours of questioning before recording began. His daughter testified that he talked about seeing visions of angels and demons and once watered a dead tree branch, believing it would grow.

“Pedro Hernandez is an odd, limited and vulnerable man,” defense lawyer Harvey Fishbein said in his closing argument. “Pedro Hernandez is an innocent man.”

Prosecutors have suggested Hernandez faked or exaggerated his symptoms.

Defense lawyers also pointed to a different man who was long the prime suspect — a convicted Pennsylvania child molester who made incriminating remarks about Etan’s case in the 1990s and who had dated a woman acquainted with the Patzes. He was never charged and denies killing Etan.

Several jurors spoke to reporters, saying they overcame an initial split during the lengthy deliberations.

“There had to have been a divide for us to deliberate that long,” juror Cateryn Kiernan said. “…We approached it logically and compassionately. We were very nervous about making the wrong call.”

Another juror said the group did believe Hernandez suffered from mental illness, but said they ultimately decided he was not delusional and knew right from wrong.

Stan Patz said he was confident the second jury’s questions and requests for exhibits during the deliberations were “a positive sign they were concentrating on what I thought was the right thing.”





If you are not from America, you might not be familiar with Etan. He disappeared when he was six and his headshot became the face of missing children all over America. The young boy's photo was plastered all over milk cartons, schools and bus stops. If you grew up in the '80's or 90's or were a parent, you definitely ate your Wheaties with his mug staring up at you from the side of the box.

His body has never been found, but now his killer has been brought to justice. Justice served after 38 long years, but better late than never. RIP.

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02-16-2017 12:50 AM
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Quintus Curtius Offline
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
Depressing story, but heartening to see it was finally solved.

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02-16-2017 01:10 AM
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FSO Offline
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
Seems very questionable to me. No physical evidence...no witnesses...just a "confession" from a looney tune. Combine that with everyone wanting "closure" and it's a recipe for a false conviction.
02-16-2017 01:12 AM
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
In 2004, the family sued a different guy in civil court (much like Nicole Brown Simpson & Ron Goldman's families sued O.J.) and were awarded a $2 million judgment, which was never collected.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappeara..._Etan_Patz

Quote:Every year, on Etan's birthday and the anniversary of his disappearance, Stan Patz sent Ramos a copy of his son's missing-child poster. On the back, he typed the same message: "What did you do to my little boy?"

^Keep in mind, that's not the guy who was just convicted.

Hernandez — the guy who was just recently convicted — was previously tried for kidnapping and murdering Etan Patz in 2015, which resulted in a mistrial due to a hung jury. The jury member who ended up being the lone holdout had some very interesting things to say:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/28/opinions/s...dez-trial/

Quote:In 2012, police questioned Hernandez for many hours with few breaks to rest. Police did not read him his Miranda rights until after nearly seven hours of questioning. The police also did not video record the initial seven hours of questioning. They turned on a video recording device only after Hernandez made his confession and was signing a sheet to waive his Miranda rights.

An unbelievably tragic case, certainly, but as FSO mentioned above, much about this conviction is questionable.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2017 02:53 AM by Scoundrel.)
02-16-2017 01:56 AM
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brick tamland Offline
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
There's been a miscarriage of justice here. I'm not American so I've never heard of this case. But a few minutes of reading the OP and the CNN & Wikipedia links above, are enough to convince me that Hernandez didn't do it. This conviction is shocking. There has been disregard of the 'beyond reasonable doubt' principle here.
The problem is that the trail went cold many years ago. In the intervening period, it seems the authorities had the right man in their sights, one Jose Antonio Ramos, yet he was never charged, although he once admitted to a prosecutor that he was 90% sure a boy he abducted on the relevant date, was in fact Etan. Mr Patz was always convinced that Ramos did it, and they even won the civil case against him. I find it a curious coincidence that Ramos was immediately re-arrested in 2012 after serving a 27 year sentence, and later convicted once more. The reason was that he supplied an invalid address to police, as his new residence. The re-arrest effectively meant that Ramos, the erstwhile number one suspect, would be in prison when Hernandez's trial began and ended and beyond, and he will likely die in prison due to his new lengthy sentence. Mere coincidence I wonder?

Another man, Othniel Miller, a neighbour of the Patz family, should also have been investigated. He was with the missing boy a day before his disappearance, and in 2012 the police excavated a basement near the Patz home, in connection with Miller as he was thought to be a paedophile. Etan Patz used to spend time with Miller in his basement (presumably alone with him). Why wasn't this guy investigated?

The boy's face was on milk cartons, so the police must have had been given many other leads over the years. I wonder what they did with those tip-offs.

After all these lapses, the police went after a mentally ill and intellectually challenged man, without a shred of physical evidence linking him to the crime. Think about that for a second - there is not even a single microscopic amount of physical evidence here. Etan unfortunately vanished without a trace. They interviewed Hernandez for hours in order to get the confession, without his defense attorney present obviously and without reading him his rights and without informing him that he was a suspect. In 2012 the police followed the path of least resistance, despite all the resources they had available to properly investigate Etan's disappearance, whether in the 80s or 90s or this century.
The conviction now brings a false sense of comfort to many people, sweeping away all of the questionable events and lapses of the past 38 years. It seems to be one of those cases where the police had to find a way to prove their competence and they finally found their weak link who conveniently was a sick and troubled man.
Full respect given to the lone juror who stood his ground after the first trial. I think his fellow jurors were swept up by the wave of hysteria and keen media attention and made an emotional decision.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2017 05:26 AM by brick tamland.)
02-16-2017 05:02 AM
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Mekorig Offline
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
Agree, as a lawyer all this trial smell like shit. Its a shame when justice is not served with this kind of trials.

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02-16-2017 09:45 AM
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
What nonsense. The guy told several people over decades what he had done. Even though it is preferable to get a body, circumstantial cases are still valid for old cold cases.

I have been watching Killing Grounds the series. There are a few murders discussed, but two in particular are like this. The killer bragged about shooting a guy and putting him in a barrel and dumping him in a swamp. They finally found a guy in a swamp like this, but it wasn't him. Then they found out from another murder he did (but did not brag about), that he killed that guy likely to cover up the fact that he helped him dump the barrel of the other guy.

If it were not for the looney tunes women in that guy's life that he had complete control over back then snitching on him now, he would still be getting away with it.

If anything it just shows the tremendous gap in technology or just how terrible certain police work was back in those days. It's extremely hard to get away with murders these days compared to back then.

Perhaps a bigger crime is how we in the West seem to have this disproportionate amount of the world's child molesters and disgusting schizophrenic freakshows like that guy. That would be a better avenue to show your disgust at how there are no proper outlets/support for men and they ruin out into these walking shitshows, that permanently damage entire families for life.

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02-16-2017 10:06 AM
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
Another thing that stinks, is where were the moral obligation of others he confided in, when he told them that he had killed a child before? Did any of them tell the police?

Just like in that series I am watching, those old hoes, were so scared of Tommy the killer, they never told the police what he bragged about, until Crime Stoppers and their 2000 dollar reward comes out. Trash. Pure human garbage. If someone told me they killed someone and even if I thought the local police were shitheads, I would at least inform the FBI and give a report. This shit is not rocket science.

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02-16-2017 10:14 AM
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
I saw an interesting statistic that somewhere around 60% (or higher) of murders in the US go unsolved. That's crazy.

Then you watch these crime shows on TV where these genius cops solve all cases in 20 minutes Laugh
02-16-2017 10:56 AM
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
(02-16-2017 10:56 AM)TigerMandingo Wrote:  I saw an interesting statistic that somewhere around 60% (or higher) of murders in the US go unsolved. That's crazy.

Then you watch these crime shows on TV where these genius cops solve all cases in 20 minutes Laugh

Don't tell that to Men going through divorce! 60% chance of full custody and no child support.

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02-16-2017 12:49 PM
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
(02-16-2017 10:06 AM)TravelerKai Wrote:  Perhaps a bigger crime is how we in the West seem to have this disproportionate amount of the world's child molesters and disgusting schizophrenic freakshows like that guy.

It is more likely the west has better public record keeping and media sensationalism. The USSR was guilty of covering up pedophiles and serial killers that were operating in their country. Largely because the USSR tried to point to those crimes as a western problem.

The movie Citizen X is based on the true story of a russian serial killer supporting that idea. It also realistically highlights the challenges of solving cold cases.
02-16-2017 04:02 PM
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brick tamland Offline
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
@Travelerkai, with due respect, hope you read the dissenting juror's piece from the link, and did your own Google searches before dismissing a post as nonsense.
Without giving too much background info, I'm not a layman. I've sat through lengthy criminal trials carefully considering circumstantial evidence.
The police had ulterior motives for pursuing Hernandez, as opposed to other suspects. Hence the illegal methods they used to coerce a confession.
At worst Hernandez, a low IQ and mentally ill man, might have killed a boy, and probably not in 1979 (by the way he had no prior conviction for violent crime) but it wasn't Etan Patz.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2017 04:36 PM by brick tamland.)
02-16-2017 04:31 PM
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lavidaloca Offline
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RE: Murderer Of Etan Patz -- The Famous Milk-Carton Kid -- Finally Convicted
While none us were there and / or heard all of the evidence, read the transcripts etc. The brief amount I've read into it makes this conviction look questionable. I'd expect an appeal. There are plenty of lawyers who will do an appeal pro bono for him for the publicity.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2017 04:38 PM by lavidaloca.)
02-16-2017 04:37 PM
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