New Evidence Search in Etan Patz Case May Prove 'Getting Away' With Murder Is Impossible
The Etan Patz disappearance case haunted a generation of parents and children. He was the first "milk carton" child, a 6-year-old who vanished from his New York City neighborhood without a trace in 1979. The case had a major break this past year when a former bodega stock clerk named Pedro Hernández confessed to the murder. Now police are back in that grocery store in SoHo searching for more evidence, 33 years later.
Allegedly he told police that he lured the young boy with a promise of a soda on his first day walking to the school bus stop alone. Once inside, he allegedly told cops he strangled Patz and put him in a trash bag a block away.
It's sickening, a nightmare of epic proportions. No parent wants to think about their child being murdered, but the idea that someone did it and was free for 33 years? It's unthinkable. But Hernandez, if he is truly guilty, didn't "get away" with anything.
For years, the Patz family blamed one man, Jose Antonio Ramos -- a drifter, convicted pedophile, and friend of Etan's babysitter -- who was charged in Etan's death in 2001. Etan's father believed it so much he even wrote to him once a year in prison asking what he had done with Etan.
And now this. It wasn't a pedophile at all it seems. It was completely random. Is that better or worse? I suppose it's neither given the Patzes are still without their son.
Maybe it could give them some comfort to know how much Hernandez suffered. There was no "getting away" with murder. He told people. He confessed. Clearly, on some level, his guilt was overwhelming. He didn't have a long, happy, guilt-free life. Some even described his confession as "a relief" and said he was full of remorse.
It won't bring Etan back, but 33 years later, it's good that police still care so much, that they are still doing things to help the Patz family get closure and seeking justice for this beautiful little boy.
Hernandez should have been in jail years ago, there is no doubt. So maybe it provides cold comfort to think of him suffering. But it's better than the alternative. Had he gone on with his life guilt free and never told a soul, he would never have been caught. It was his guilt, in the end, that was his undoing.
It won't change the fact that an innocent, perfect life was stolen. But at least Patz's alleged killer was miserable. And now he can have all his guilt in prison, the place he should have gone decades ago.
Do you think he "got away" with murder?