Monday, February 23, 2015

Pedro Hernandez: New York: Evidence in 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz found in New York police station, while Hernandez is on trial for the killing. (Must Read. HL); Update: February 24, 2015: Trial continues; No mistrial motion yet. L.A. Times.

STORY: "Evidence in 1979 disappearance case found in N.Y. police station," by Associated Press reporter Colleen Long,  published by the Toronto Star on February 23, 2015.

SUB-HEADING: "Three boxes of evidence from the investigation into 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz have turned up while a suspect is on trial for the killing." 

PHOTO CAPTION: "Julie Patz, the mother of Etan Patz, returns to a New York courthouse after a break in her testimony on Feb. 2. Three boxes of evidence from the investigation into the boy's 1979 disappearance were found recently at a Harlem police station."
GIST: "Three boxes of evidence from the investigation into the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz have turned up while a suspect is on trial for the killing, and his attorney said Monday that she may have to seek a mistrial or at least recall witnesses who have already testified. The boy’s disappearance in New York City on May 25, 1979, helped catalyze a national missing-children’s movement. Etan, whose body was never found, was one of the first vanished children whose case was publicized in what became a high-profile way: on milk cartons. Alice Fontier, one of the attorneys representing suspect Pedro Hernandez, said there were more than 1,400 pages of relevant information in one box alone. “Given this massive disclosure at this point, in the middle of the trial, there may be issues,” she said. “We may need to recall some of their witnesses, we may need to move for a mistrial,” she said. Hernandez confessed in 2012 to choking Etan in the basement of the convenience store where he worked as a stock clerk. He told police he put the boy’s body in a bag, stuck the bag in a box and walked it down the street where he dumped it with some curbside trash. His defence says the admissions were the fictional ravings of a mentally ill man with a low IQ who didn’t understand his right to silence.......... The boxes of evidence were found recently at a Harlem police station that covers public housing complexes in the neighbourhood, prosecutors said late last week. The location is kilometres from the precinct near where Etan went missing as he walked to school. They contain police records from the investigation, notes from assistant district attorneys who worked on the case and handwritten memos from a detective who investigated Jose Ramos, a longtime suspect in the case who was never charged."

The entire story can be found at:

 See related story: Trial to continue: No mistrial application yet: "Documents recently discovered from the investigation into a missing boy's case dating back 36 years include notes from a police officer's interviews with people who claimed to have seen the child, Etan Patz, in the apartment building of a man other than the defendant on trial in his murder. Defense attorney Alice Fontier said the team representing Pedro Hernandez, who is on trial in Etan Patz's 1979 disappearance, had not yet had time to go through the more than 3,000 items recently discovered in three boxes in a Harlem police station. Nobody has been able to explain how the three boxes containing the material ended up at the police station, which is in a different precinct and far from the Soho neighborhood where Etan, who was 6 at the time, disappeared. The defense did not demand a mistrial and Fontier said she was not accusing prosecutors of intentionally concealing any of the information. But she said there were 39 pages of documents in the boxes that were records from a police officer involved in the investigation, who lived in the same apartment building where a man once eyed as a possible suspect lived at the time Etan vanished. According to the officer's notes, "many residents positively identified Etan Patz as having been in that building with Jose Ramos," Fontier said. Ramos never was charged in the boy's murder, but he was convicted in other child sexual abuse cases and is in prison in Pennsylvania. Ramos had been a boyfriend of a woman who worked at times as a baby sitter for the Patz family, and defense attorneys have made clear they see him as a more likely suspect than Hernandez. Ramos has denied involvement in Etan's murder.  The boxes' discovery was the latest in many twists in one of the nation's most infamous missing child cases."


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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