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.