Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Judge Says Etan Patz Slay Case Can Proceed to Trial

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    A judge has decided that a trial can proceed for a man charged with murder in the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013)

    A judge has decided that a trial can proceed for a man charged with murder in the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz.

    Pedro Hernandez of Maple Shade, N.J., is accused of abducting and killing Patz, who was last seen walking to his school bus stop in 1979. His body has never been found.

    Etan Patz Slay Suspect Appears in Court as Prosecutors Press On

    [NY] Etan Patz Slay Suspect Appears in Court as Prosecutors Press On
    The man accused of luring 6-year-old Etan Patz into a basement and killing him 33 years ago will plead not guilty to kidnapping and murder charges when he is arraigned next month, his lawyer said Thursday. (Published Thursday, Nov 15, 2012)

    Hernandez confessed to killing Patz after his arrest last year and had made incriminating remarks years before. But his lawyer argued that Hernandez is schizophrenic and bipolar, and that his admission was false, peppered with questionable claims and made after almost seven hours of police questioning.

    "No evidence or witnesses have been found corroborating any of the few facts" in Hernandez's confession, defense lawyer Harvey Fishbein wrote last month in papers arguing that the case should be dismissed.

    Etan Patz Suspect Indicted on Murder, Kidnapping Charges

    [NY] Etan Patz Suspect Indicted on Murder, Kidnapping Charges
    A grand jury has indicted former SoHo bodega clerk Pedro Hernandez on charges he lured 6-year-old Etan Patz into a basement and killed him 33 years ago. Jonathan Dienst reports. (Published Thursday, Nov 15, 2012)

    The Manhattan district attorney's office argued there's enough proof to sustain the case, Hernandez willingly talked with investigators and prosecutors don't believe his confession is a mentally ill man's imaginings. Under New York law, a person can be convicted based only on a confession, if there's additional evidence that a crime was committed.

    A judge said Wednesday that the grand jury proceeding was legally sufficient to continue.

    NYPD Announces Arrest in 1979 Cold Case

    [NY] RAW: NYPD Announces Arrest in 1979 Killing of Etan Patz
    NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced the arrest of Pedro Hernandez, 51, who police say confessed to killing Etan Patz 33 years ago. (Published Friday, May 25, 2012)

    Etan vanished on May 25, 1979; the anniversary later was named National Missing Children's Day in his memory. 

    Hernandez, 52, was arrested last May after police got a tip that he'd told people years before that he had killed a child in New York City.

    Hernandez then told authorities he'd seen Etan at the bus stop, offered the boy a soda to entice him to a corner store where Hernandez worked and choked the boy in the basement. Hernandez said he tossed Etan's book bag behind a basement freezer, put his limp body in a box and left it with some trash about a block away.

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