Little Etan Patz
33 years ago today, Etan Patz was able to convince his Mom to let him walk to the bus stop alone for the first time from their SoHo home. This would be the last time she would see her son alive. It wasn’t until later that day when he didn’t return home that Julie Patz called the school, to which she found out that Etan never even made it in that day.
Similar situations had more than likely happened before, but this case was special. After he was reported missing, something unique happened, they decided to put Etan’s picture on a milk carton. He would be the first of thousands of missing children’s pictures to appear on a milk carton.
Fast forward to 25.May.2012, exactly 33 years to the day that Etan disappeared, and it looks as though the police finally have a suspect in custody. A man who worked at a bodega just down the street confessed to luring Etan in with the promise of soda, and then killing him.
33 years have gone by. 33 years of not knowing for sure what happened. 33 years.
33 years is a lifetime, think of what you can accomplish, or what you have accomplished over that time frame, or in real time, since 1979. His parents refused to move, they have even kept the same phone number. See, Etan was 6 years old when he vanished so he knew where they lived and he knew his phone number, so his parents kept that information static with the hopes that he would one day show up.
I cannot even imagine what his parents have gone through over the last 33 years. All the hope, all the false leads, all the birthdays and holidays that passed, all the while never knowing with certainty what happened to their son. Imagine if his Mom had not let him walk alone, just for one more day…there is a chance her son would be here today. Knowing that would literally drive me insane, it would simply be more than I would be able to cope with. They are amazing people, the ability to go on amid this tragedy, the strength they have is something I will never know.
What has to go through a person’s mind to do something like this to a child? You have a person who is so innocent, so trusting, so oblivious to any outside danger…and then you have an adult who is looking to pray on that, and to take advantage of that. It sickens me. I think of what I would do to someone if they did that to my kid, and it would not be pretty. Part of me envisions myself as being that guy who would jump over the barriers in a court room so I could launch an assault on the suspect to make him regret he was ever born. On the other hand, there is a part of me that would have to ask the question that if someone is so disturbed that they could do something like that to a child, is there something seriously wrong with them? I mean are there wires that just aren’t connected somewhere in their head? If there is some psychological problem with them, is it fair for me to judge them? If a case exists where they cannot control their own behavior, I wouldn’t know how to handle that. I guess it’s just hard for me to imagine that the kind of person who would do something like this to a child really exists. It’s hard for me to imagine that people are really that sick. And then to go on with your life for 33 years as if nothing ever happened, how do you sleep at night? If the person they have in custody really did do this to Etan, I have a feeling justice will catch up with him shortly after he is incarcerated.
I hope the suspect they have in custody cooperates, I hope that we are finally able to put this case to rest. I hope that in some way, Stan & Julie Patz may finally be able to move on with their lives without the constant thought that their little blonde haired boy might someday walk through their front door. I hope they will be able to walk down the street and not turn to look at everyone who has blonde hair and think, could that be Etan? I hope the media finally stops seeking them out for interviews; I hope they finally get the closure they have most certainly craved.
But most importantly, I hope this means that little Etan Patz may finally get to rest in peace. I hope that wherever he is, he is frozen in time as a fun loving 6 year old boy. I hope that he has all the toys and ice cream he can handle, I hope that he is surrounded by family and people that love him. That’s what he deserves. The unfortunate thing is that there always has to be an Etan. There always has to be someone who experiences something bad in order for good to come from it. I hope his parents can take some good from this, knowing that his picture on a milk carton has helped to ease the grief of so many other families. I don’t know if it will happen…but I hope. Rest in peace now little Etan Patz.
**February 14, 2017 – a jury has convicted Pedro Hernandez for the murder of Etan. Pedro reportedly lured Etan into the basement of the corner bodega he was working in with the promise of some soda, once in the basement he strangled Etan and then put his body in a bag and disposed of it with the trash a few blocks away. My heart goes out to Stan and Julie, may they finally get that good night’s rest they’ve so long been searching for…and while they are getting that rest, let us hope that Etan can now finally rest in peace.