Tag Archives: Jim Dwyer

Jim Dwyer, always worth reading, on rush to “solve” Etan Patz case

Just last month, the police were digging up a basement, announcing the imminent answer to the horrifying disappearance of 6 year old Etan Patz 33 years ago. They came up empty-handed. Now a month later, a completely different answer is being trumpeted with press conferences. Jim Dwyer in the New York Times rightly asks what’s the rush?

About New York

Publicity First, Evidence Later in Patz Arrest

Published: May 24, 2012

Back from London, the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, stepped in front of the cameras in prime time Thursday evening to announce that the police were accusing Pedro Hernandez of killing Etan Patz in 1979.

The mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, had weighed in a few hours earlier, declaring that “we” had a suspect in custody. That wasn’t even the first word of the day: the police commissioner had beaten the mayor to it, issuing a statement at 6:30 in the morning, before he got on a jet in London.

The boy disappeared 33 years ago, the suspect had been in custody for barely a day, after decades of false starts, but already the publicity engine was outracing the actual investigation or filing of charges. “People heard the word ‘confession’ and they think that’s it, the case is solved,” a law enforcement official involved in the case said.

Is it?

“If this was a baseball game, we would be in the first inning,” the official, who would not be identified, said. “He is lucid, he’s persuasive. But there is not a lot of corroborating information.”