Pedro Hernandez found guilty in Etan Patz murder
- Author: Larry Hoffman Feb 14, 2017,
Feb 14, 2017, 20:50
Even crazier, Pedro actually confessed to the murder - revealing terrifying details!
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced today that Pedro Hernandez, 56, has been found guilty in the kidnapping and murder of Etan Patz, 6, who disappeared almost 40 years ago while walking to the school bus in Soho. The final verdict was handed down by a jury around noon on Valentine's Day, nine days after the deliberations began.
A jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of a man accused of killing a little boy in 1979.
After a 6 1/2-hour interrogation, Hernandez confessed on videotape to luring the child into the bodega basement with the promise of a soda and strangling him until he went limp.
Defense attorneys had said the confession was the product of a vulnerable, mentally ill man who was manipulated by law enforcement.
Defense lawyer Harvey Fishbein argued in his summation that the real killer is convicted and now imprisoned child molester Jose Ramos, 73, who was a longtime suspect in the case.
One of Hernandez' relatives called police after the case made news headlines in 2012. Another jury deliberated for 18 days before deadlocking in 2015.
She reminded the jury that he had also told his ex-wife, a church group and a pal that he killed a boy in NY - however, these admissions were vague and inconsistent.
In the various interviews that were recorded on video for his most recent trial, Pedro described encountering a boy on the sidewalk outside the bodega where he worked.
"It's hard to explain away 30 years of confessions", the prosecutor said.
"When he went in front of me, I grabbed his neck and I started to choke him. I felt so sorry". In addition to his confession, he also signed one of the "missing" posters, confirming for investigators that Etan was in fact the boy he attacked.
"Maybe the defendant tried to sexually assault him but realized Etan was fighting back", she suggested, offering no evidence to backup the claim.
Etan vanished from a Soho street the first time he walked alone to the school bus stop on May 25, 1979. His tragic case ended up shaping both parenting and law enforcement practices nationwide.
Etan's father Stan was a photographer and his pictures of Etan were the first of a missing child featured on milk cartons as part of a national search.
He never came home, and an intense police dragnet in the neighborhood never turned up a body, or forensic evidence of a crime, or witnesses who recalled seeing him at the bus stop. His attorneys' placed the blame for Etan's murder on Jose Ramos, a convicted child molester, now jailed in Pennsylvania, who dated Etan's babysitter.