There’s been a social media storm these last 24 hours

For those who haven’t heard, there’s a woman who claims she is Jennifer Klein who disappeared in 1974. This story has been floating around the internet for about a month, but yesterday there was a YouTube video published where the woman claimed she had DNA testing done and it proved her identity.

This woman also claims her abductors were members of a Satanic cult and that they kidnapped Kurt Newton and Etan Patz (who both disappeared in the 1970s, across the country from Jennifer) as well. She says she was brainwashed and didn’t start remembering what happened until after she was injured in a car accident.

As for what I think, well, I didn’t write this editorial but it pretty much sums up my own position on the matter.

Hopefully the truth will come out over the next few days or so. Until then, that’s all I’ve got to say.

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.

End of Etan Patz dig

They finished digging up the carpenter’s basement looking for Etan Patz. And, as I had figured, they found nothing. I don’t know whether that means the carpenter, Othniel Miller, was ruled out as a suspect or not. It may not matter much to him if he has been: his name’s been dragged through the mud in the national news and he’ll be drawing suspicious looks for quite awhile.

Finally finished MSHP cases

For the simple reason that I was tired of looking at them, the past two updates I’ve concentrated on clearing out all my Missouri State Highway Patrol case backlog. Well, the deed is done, and I discovered an interesting (possible) double murder-without-a-body in the 1986 case of Sherry Wrisinger and her teenage daughter Johnna. Sherry’s husband was charged with their murders in 2009, but the case was dropped less than a year later after a key witness died.

I also updated Etan Patz‘s case with still more photos of him. He was such an adorable kid. If they ever do find him I’d have a hard time deciding which pic to use in the resolved section, for each one is cuter than the last.

I’ve been following the latest events with some interest but my money is still on Jose Antonio Ramos. I found a more recent (2010) picture of Ramos and put it in Etan’s casefile. He looks pretty much the same as he did in his 1986 photo except that his hair is white now. He looks like Santa Claus. He comes up for release in November. *shudders*

*goes off to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off*

Etan Patz case is reactivated

A new Manhattan DA has been elected. He had promised to look into Etan Patz‘s disappearance and possibly prosecute the prime suspect in his case, Jose Antonio Ramos. Well, the day after the thirty-second anniversary in Etan’s disappearance, the new DA has reactivated the case. (They keep saying “reopened” but it was never closed.)

Ramos comes up for parole in two years. I doubt he will get it, but this man MUST be kept behind bars. I hope they can come up with enough evidence to prosecute, and get some justice for Etan.

Etan Patz again

New York Magazine has an Etan Patz article, again with a photo I’ve never seen before. This month is the 30th anniversary of his disappearance. It’s quite long but it’s a good summary of the twists and turns of the case. It’s written by the author of After Etan. The library has the book on order, and I’ve placed a hold on it. I’ll review it on this blog when I read it.

Etan disappeared on the very first day his parents let him walk to the bus stop alone. Nowadays I think it would be inconceivable to let a six-year-old walk to the bus stop by himself in New York City, and I’m pretty sure it was Etan’s disappearance and others like it that caused parents to supervise their kids more. (I heard that later on some women on the street recognized his mom from the news and said, “You must feel so bad about it, especially considering how it was all your fault.” Growl.) But even if his parents hadn’t let him walk to the bus stop by himself, he would have disappeared anyway. I’m not saying his abduction was completely unpreventable — that’s nonsense — but Jose Antonio Ramos was stalking him and was just waiting for an opportunity.

Incidentally, I do think it’s kind of odd that Etan became basically the model for America’s missing child. He was young and very cute, it’s true. But he was a boy, and he was conspicuously Jewish. I would have expected a little girl from a Christian “All-American” family would be more likely to get that kind of attention.