THE FULL STORY OF THE DECADES-LONG MYSTERY OF ETAN PATZ, NOW UPDATED WITH RECENT DEVELOPMENT
"A real-life thriller, which kept me up long past midnight...A heartbreaking story, scrupulously researched, well-constructed and well-written." - The Daily Beast
On the morning of May 25, 1979, six-year-old Etan Patz left his apartment to go to his school bus stop. It was the first time he walked the two short blocks on his own. But he never made it to school that day. He vanished somewhere between his home and the bus stop, and was never seen again.
The search for Etan quickly consumed the downtown Manhattan neighborhood where his family lived and became a national story - one that would change out cultural landscape forever. More than thirty years later, May 25 is recognized as National Missing Children's Day in Etan's honor. But despite the overwhelming publicity his case received, the public knows only a fraction of what happened.
This is the story of the relentless search for justice, drawn from hundreds of interviews and twenty years of research - including access to the personal files of the Patz family - to reveal for the first time the entire dramatic tale.
Emmy-winning TV newsmagazine producer Cohen examines one of the most publicized missing child cases in America. On May 25, 1979, Etan Patz left his family's SoHo loft to walk two blocks to catch his school bus, the first time his parents let him make the trip alone. He was never seen again. Early in the investigation, police interviewed Jose Antonio Ramos, whose "interest in little blond boys" had become known to police, yet they dismissed Ramos as a suspect in the Patz case. But over the years, Ramos repeatedly intimated that he molested and murdered Patz and hid the body. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart GraBois doggedly and shrewdly pursued Ramos, hoping prison informants could coax a confession. Cohen details GraBois's efforts and the pain Stan and Julie Patz endured as years passed and Etan's fate remained a mystery. Perhaps most heart-wrenching is Stan's twice-yearly ritual of mailing Etan's "missing" poster to Ramos in prison, always with the same message: "What did you do to my little boy?" As true crime, this tragic tale is a standout, and Cohen, though no prose stylist, does a creditable job telling it.