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S31.E34: The Lost Boy (Etan Patz)

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An investigation of the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz and the case against Pedro Hernandez, the man charged in 2012 with killing him.

 

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I don't have much to say about this other than my heart goes out to those poor parents. I don't now how the mother lived with the "would've, should've, could've." I think this case was part of the start of helicopter parenting and the end of free-range children. Damn sad that a kid can't try out being a big boy by walking to the bus stop all by himself. Don't really know what to think about the conviction. Still feels like there's some question and always will be.

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We walked through a residential area in the 60s. (a different time) My brother was 6 and a half. I was 9. Things were different. It is sad. The first time Etan  walked two blocks alone... oh *sigh*  What ethnicity is the name? Not that it matters. I think it is unusual. Etan and Patz. 

What an adorable child. Bless his heart. Did I hear correctly that Etan was a middle child? Again not that it matters, just an observation. My point, iow, is that the older child likley walked to the bus stop safely, so that's why they let Etan go too. But why didn't Etan walk with the older sibling? 

Very sad that Bill Butler took his own life... over this case? Do people get that wrapped up in a case? I know people care very much, but to kill yourself over it? It would have helped Etan more if he were alive. Not blaming, just saying. 

Jose Ramos' girlfriend , Susan Harrington , walked Etan to school during a bus strike. WHAT?  

Edited by ari333
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I am of the Etan Patz era and NY area, so while I don't think it's the genesis of today's real helicopter parenting, it certainly caused genuine fear. I think it was the advent of Stranger Danger, Kidnapper Van fears (at least where I lived), especially since the Adam Walsh tragedy was just 18 months or so behind. 

As for the conviction, it has always made me a little uneasy.  I got plenty of local coverage, but only the jury knows the real evidence they got to see. From the outside, it seems a question of whether the confession was one of a troubled conscience or a troubled mind. 

In any case, the poor Patz family has lived with this for 30+ years, never moved and have never gottten Etan back. They never even got to give their boy a proper burial. So heart wrenching, 

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I missed the last few minutes.  Fell asleep. Anyway, what corroborating evidence did they have against this latest defendant besides his confession? The state needs some evidence in addition to the confession.  Just curious.  And, there are false confessions.  That's always so infuriating to me.  I wish people wouldn't do them, but, it does happen. 

I don't consider protecting your child hovering too close.  You do what is necessary and to me fear is irrelevant.  No doubt the parents have suffered tremendously over the years, but, I recall the story when it first happened and wondered why a child would not be watched under those circumstances.   

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IIRC, they said that he had confessed years ago to his now ex-wife and someone else that I can’t remember—friend maybe?

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I think the biggest goof was the police not filming the entire interrogation. That really looks suspect. I thought it was a law now that all interrogations had to be filmed. Or maybe it's state by state. Just seems like a good idea anyway because everything is out on the table and doesn't look suspicious.

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I felt conflicted about which of the two men actually did it- the pedophile, or the guy that confessed.  His low IQ and the lack of videotaping by police until they prompt him to tell the story make me skeptical about his confession.

One of the cases that led to the "stranger danger" phenomenon was the Jacob Wetterling case.

There is a great podcast about that case - I recommend it for anyone interested - https://www.apmreports.org/in-the-dark/season-one

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