Early on a May morning in 1979, six-year-old Etan Patz set off for school on his own for the first time. He vanished, and for three decades his case both frustrated and exhausted police, the FBI, and a public heartbroken by the tragedy. Then, suddenly, the police in 2012 announced that a former bodega clerk from the Manhattan neighborhood where Etan lived had confessed to killing the boy. Detectives were convinced they had the boy’s murderer, and prosecutors soon indicted the man, Pedro Hernandez.
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