Questionable Police Tactics Aren’t Helping the Etan Patz Case

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Photo: null/wikipedia©Patz Imaging 2006

Despite a months-long investigation, it seems the only thing connecting Pedro Hernandez to 6-year-old Etan Patz's 1979 murder is the videotaped confession he made in May. After Hernandez pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday, his lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, said he'll argue that investigators produced a false confession from a mentally ill man by using improper interrogation techniques. According to the New York Times, new court papers reveal that Hernandez was questioned for nearly eight hours before detectives started recording what he was saying. New Jersey has banned unrecorded interrogations since 2005, and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced several months after Hernandez was questioned that the NYPD will start recording all interrogations in murder and sex crime cases. Plus, the confession itself is sounding less and less credible. Hernandez said he approached Patz at his bus stop and left the boy's backpack behind a freezer after strangling him, yet no one saw Patz at the bus stop and an exhaustive search of the area didn't produce his backpack.