Etan Patz and the confession

The world is abuzz with the confession from Pedro Hernandez that he kidnapped and killed Etan Patz back in 1979. This after the police have been dogging Jose Antonio Ramos’s tail for the past few decades. He was the prime, and only, suspect, until this week. Hernandez was eighteen when Etan disappeared and said that, for reasons he was unable to explain, he lured Etan with the promise of a soda, strangled him and disposed of the body. He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and his lawyer says he has visual and auditory hallucinations.

I hate to say it, but…I don’t think anything is going to come of this. I mean, it would be great if something would. I would be thrilled if I was wrong and Pedro Hernandez really did kill Etan and can prove it. Certainly the police seem to believe his story; otherwise they wouldn’t have arrested him.

But they also believed John Mark Karr in 2006, when he confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey. And it turned out, after a huge media firestorm, that Karr (now a woman named Alexis Reich) had had nothing to do with the crime at all and may have confessed solely so he could get free passage from Thailand to the U.S. The police had arrested Karr prematurely, without getting the DNA test results back yet, results which would have proved he was a liar.

Anyway…Etan. I’m sure more will be revealed about this case, but as the Wall Street Journal says, a confession is not enough. There has be collaborating evidence to support Hernandez’s statements. For example, finding the body would be great, but even if his confession was accurate it may not be possible to find Etan after 33 years. Until the police have disclosed they have actual, significant evidence to support Hernandez’s statements, my money’s still on Jose Antonio Ramos.

Ramos, if he knows about all this, is probably laughing his fool head off right about now.

25 thoughts on “Etan Patz and the confession

  1. Karen Klinesmith Weber May 26, 2012 / 4:20 pm

    Thank you. I’ve been saying this same thing other places including the Jonbenet debacle which it totally reminds me of. This guy has no prior record and as far as we know hasn’t had a record since. Why would he lure Etan into the basement to kill him for no reason? If he was that cruel a killer he would have killed again. Etan’s case got attention again which caused the loons to crawl out of the woodwork. It makes me sad for Etan’s parents. My money is still on Ramos and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Patz family continued to think so too.

    • Meaghan May 26, 2012 / 4:23 pm

      I first heard about Etan on the TV. I was with my mother and she was watching TV shows and I was not paying very much attention, just doing computer work. Then the news came on and I caught Etan’s name and said “Wait, don’t change the channel.” I watched the broadcast in silence and then said, “Bullshit.”

  2. Campbell May 26, 2012 / 5:00 pm

    Hernandez did it- it can be proven that he was there on the day of the disappearance. He also confessed to family members as far back as 81. This will turn out to be something akin to a death bed confession- he supposedly has advanced cancer. Many criminals who commit hideous crimes, such as this, believe that they can be “saved”. Actually it happens more than one would think. As for Ramos, he too is a seriously sick individual and hopefully gets civil involuntary commitment upon his max out from the Pa. system in Nov. That is the way to deal with predatory sex offenders- indeterminent commitment after full measure of punishment is extracted in the penal system.

    • Meaghan May 26, 2012 / 5:22 pm

      It is my understanding he made vague statements in 1981 that he “hurt” a kid. I didn’t hear anything about an outright confession or him mentioning Etan’s name.

      I really hope Hernandez did it. And that they can prove it.

      • Karen Klinesmith Weber May 26, 2012 / 6:16 pm

        I heard the same “confession”. Now it’s too late for any proof. Etan’s remains are long gone. When they put family members on the stand and they say he claimed to hurt a child what proof is that? No name. No saying what he did. Call me a skeptic but I’m not buying it.

      • Campbell May 26, 2012 / 8:00 pm

        Another way of looking at this crime is from a statistical point of view. We know that the child was not grabbed by a passing vehicle or dragged off by someone on foot. Therefore the “suspect” world is limited to that block and a half of residents. Throw in 33 years where many people from the block and a half are now dead. Hernandez was 18 at the time- no small coincidence that this is about the typical age of Paronoid S. setting in. Also, this particular mental illness can lead to very impulsive behavior,i.e. grabbing a kid for no particular reason and then realizing what you did and “kill the evidence”.( Note: a predominate trait of PS is all types of religious confusion and obsession- thus his need to clear his conscious- such as it is)
        My guess is Hernandez has been on very heavy psychotropic medication which explains the lack of other subsequent criminal conduct. Yesterday, NYPD moved him to Bellevue supposedly for suicide watch but one report stated that the detention facility did not have ‘sophisticated medication” that Hernandez requires. Two choices; cancer treatment or a psychotropic med cocktail. My money is on his mental health deteriorated and they are trying to stabilize him.

        The bottom line- even in NY in 79, there is a finite and small suspect pool and somehow Hernandez eluded suspicion. I am extremely certain he is the guy but due to time lapsing there will never be irrefutable evidence of his guilt

  3. Princess Shantae May 26, 2012 / 8:14 pm

    I’m not holding my breath either. How convenient this guy got turned out just after there was a big rush of publicity with them trying to find the body.

    • Meaghan May 26, 2012 / 8:20 pm

      It’s not a coincidence. His own family saw the publicity, remembered his talk of having “hurt” a child and called the cops.

  4. Princess Shantae May 26, 2012 / 10:07 pm

    Off topic, but did you hear where Kimberly Medina’s husband is now facing charges in her disappearance and presumed death? And that he is already doing time for killing his little son in 2005?

  5. Ana Torres May 26, 2012 / 11:20 pm

    I’m not sure what to make of it either. I have always believed it was Ramos too and Lisa Cohen made many good points on why many investigators like Stuart Grabois believed it was him and probably still believes it. I’m not sure that this guy is not just some nut confessing now and yet who knows? Right now I will wait and see like many others are. I just hope they don’t drag this too long for Ramos will be released in November.

    • Meaghan May 26, 2012 / 11:31 pm

      Of course, it’s also possible Ramos didn’t do it. I mean, Tim Bindner looked suspicious as all hell with Amber Swartz-Garcia, Amanda Nicole Campbell, etc., but I think the police have since concluded he didn’t do anything.

  6. Mischa May 27, 2012 / 5:53 am

    The article about the missing body states, that authorities had “a small window” for “discovering the body. I don’t think so. If Hernandez confession is accurate, there was “no window” at all, because the body was taken to a landfill even before anbody did realise Ethan was missing.
    We will never know if the confession is true or just derives from hallucinations. I think, the whole story is the worst possible outcome for Ethan’s family.
    And the very worst thing about it: The confession will make it much more difficult keep Ramos behind bars.

  7. The Abominable Dr Phibes May 27, 2012 / 4:36 pm

    When you’re talking John Mark Karr you’re talking Boulder PD, possibly the most inept department in the history of the world. Hernandez may or may not be guilty of this crime but I’m thinking NYPD has vetted his story immeasurably more than BPD ever did with Karr’s.

  8. Deb Cashion May 27, 2012 / 7:21 pm

    Even a confession and a possible burial site doesn’t close the case. In Australia Samantha Knight went missing in 1986. 17 years later a man confessed (http://www.australianmissingpersonsregister.com/SamKnight.htm) and led Police to her burial site. Unfortunately small bones not buried in coffins deteriorate rapidly and there was nothing left but biological waste that indicated a body might have been there once. This may be the same case with Etan. There will never be a body to bury but hopefully the case can be closed… although we never know,

  9. Campbell May 27, 2012 / 10:20 pm

    Do not ever get caught in the trap of well some lunatic named Mark K- falsely confessed in year so and so and oh by the way- he had never been to the Boulder neighborhood of Jon Benet. The Jon B case has absolutely nothing to do with Hernandez and Etan. All you need to know is- Hernandez lived and worked in the specific area that the boy disappeared. He is the real deal.

    • Meaghan May 27, 2012 / 10:31 pm

      I hope you’re right.

      • Campbell May 27, 2012 / 10:48 pm

        When it comes to understanding maniacs and what they do and why they do it- I have 30 years of the worst of the worst- I have 2 cases that I am researching- that is why I hit this site. My interests at present are limited to two NJ 1970’s cases that make the Patz case look like a walk in the park- as far as solving. Pre internet and pre camera’s – pre everything- but the guys that did both are alive and they should be held accountable.

    • Meaghan May 27, 2012 / 10:49 pm

      Are these missing person cases? Are they on my site?

      • Campbell May 27, 2012 / 11:06 pm

        One you have touched on – the other is off the radar completley— I worked in Trenton State Prison- Parole Board- Attorney- Grad School Now in Boston – Northeastern U – Director Juv Justice in NJ- Owner of Capital Academy in Camden City , NJ

        Over the years- my focus has become extremely narrow as to cold cases and the why’s and who’s- both cases are related to prior reliable inmate info- which in my experience, when not related to “Freedom” issues- i.e.- trading info- to get of prison- is always extremely reliable particularly when kids are involved.

        Hernandez- from the Camden NJ area is the guy- no question at all.

  10. meyah May 28, 2012 / 1:43 am

    I agree, the man being schizophrenic/bipolar you can give no credit to his self-accusations. The fact that he already accused himself of the crime back in 1981 means little when he was probably already mentally ill by then. Schizophrenia is usually diagnosed when people are in their early twenties, his age by then. He was interviewed about the crime it’s very possible that his mind went: “police asked if he came to my shop”->”maybe he came and I killed him” and then his mind started elaborating a whole scenario. You just can’t know here. Maybe he needs being sent to prison for the crime or maybe he just needs mental help.

    • Meaghan May 28, 2012 / 2:08 am

      Having schizophrenia or bipolar disorder doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve entirely lost touch with reality. This guy sounds fairly high functioning. He held a job until an accident made him go on disability, he was married, lived with his wife and kid, his siblings were unaware that he had serious mental illness, etc.

  11. Cattt June 6, 2012 / 1:37 am

    oh wow i remember that face when i was a little kid and saw him on the milk cartons.

  12. Ana Torres June 7, 2012 / 12:49 am

    I just hope Julie and Stan finally get some answers. You want them to have answers (not closure for nothing can end their pain and the loss of their son) but they should be the right ones. Yes Pedro Hernandez could have done it. He was nearby and had the opportunity but you want to be sure it was him and that he’s not just talking crazy and he could be. Sad thing is after 33 years how do we can we ever know for sure? But whatever happened to Etan it could’t have happened far from him home so this confession is indeed looking into but they need to keep all avenues open including Jose Antonio Ramos.

    • NH June 7, 2012 / 11:48 pm

      Given Hernandez’s PS could he have witnessed something and then thought he participated or maybe he was party to the murder with another. It seems odd that he apparently never had any other significant transgressions.

  13. Ana Torres June 10, 2012 / 3:57 am

    That is very possible. They reported that he had details about Etan that were not released to the public so that is worth looking into. If he witnessed something with an accomplice we won’t know unless he mentions one or someone else comes forward. It would be strange if he only committed this one murder. That doesn’t make sense.

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