Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday's Vote Could be Etan's Last Chance

By Lisa R.Cohen

Tuesday, September 15th, could signal a new chapter in the 30-year-long Etan Patz case.

And the more New Yorkers who know about it, the better the chance there is of that happening.

Etan is the six-and-a-half year-old boy who famously disappeared off the streets of SoHo, New York, on May 25th, 1979. That date is observed every year as National Missing Children's Day to commemorate the beautiful blond boy whose smiling face on Missing Posters all over the world signaled a cultural shift in the way we raise our children.

Etan was never found, and his case is officially still open. The New York City District Attorney for the last 35 years has kept it open. But he says there's never been enough evidence to bring an indictment against the one man authorities believe kidnapped and murdered Etan, then disposed of his body.

Instead, Federal Prosecutor Stuart GraBois was able to get Jose Antonio Ramos convicted for another child molestation case. Ramos is currently finishing up a 20-year-plus sentence for that crime.

Tuesday is the Democratic primary, which will finally elect a new District Attorney of New York. One candidate has openly pledged to pursue Etan's case. In wildly Democratic New York, there's no Republican candidate, so Tuesday's vote is the whole shebang. With voter turnout typically running under 200,000 voters, we can achieve a critical mass relatively easily. In this election, every vote truly does count.

But I'll let Etan's cousin Kim tell you more about why next week is so important. She is far more eloquent than I on this particular subject.

She's written an open letter and asked me, as the author of AFTER ETAN -- the only book ever written on the case -- to get it spread around town. Even if you're not a New Yorker, maybe you know some, and could forward it on, or tweet about it, or make some calls. Whatever works for you these days.

Click here to download a PDF of the letter for forwarding purposes. But I'm also cutting and pasting it below:

On May 25, 1979 my 6-year-old cousin, Etan Patz, disappeared from the streets of New York. Even after thirty years, people remember this case quite well. Etan was walking two short blocks to his school bus stop for the first time, and he was never seen again. Jose Antonio Ramos, a sexual predator, is believed to be responsible for molesting, killing and disposing of Etan’s body.

Here’s the scariest part - If nothing is done, and my cousin’s case does not make it to a grand jury, Ramos will be released from prison in 2012.

In 2004, a civil judge found Ramos responsible for Etan’s death, yet the current Manhattan DA refuses to bring the case to trial. Jose Ramos, a serial pedophile, is currently incarcerated in a Pennsylvania prison for sexually molesting another young boy. But, he will have served out his sentence in three short years and he will be back on the streets to harm countless other children. The thought of this monster getting out of prison should frighten everyone, but if you live in Manhattan you can help stop Ramos – for good.

The current 90-year-old Manhattan DA, Robert Morgenthau, has been in office for 35 years and to this day refuses to bring this case to trial despite substantial evidence and a civil trial showing Ramos responsible for Etan’s death. Morgenthau has decided not to seek re-election this year and to finally retire.

There are three candidates hoping to succeed him. Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder, Cyrus Vance Jr. and Richard Aborn. My family is trying to reach out to those of you in Manhattan to please consider voting for Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder for Manhattan DA. Leslie Crocker Snyder is the only candidate for DA who has pledged to put the Patz case before a Grand Jury, the first necessary step needed to obtain an indictment against Jose Ramos which could lead to a trial and conviction.

Our only objective is to save another family from enduring the pain and
anguish our family has lived with for over 30 years.

If you live in Manhattan, you're of
legal age to vote, and you're a registered Democrat, please vote for Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder.

If you are unfamiliar with this case, please see or read the book AFTER ETAN: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive,” by former “60 Minutes" producer, Lisa R. Cohen. It’s the first book ever written about the case in 30 years. It finally lays out a full picture of the compelling evidence against Jose Ramos, evidence never before heard in public.

If you have any doubts about his guilt, read this book, and you will see that when you put all the pieces together, he is irrefutably the villain who kidnapped and killed my cousin Etan.

There were also interviews done on "20/20" and "60 Minutes"
that will help you understand how important it is to keep this predator off our streets.

Thank you for your time.

The Family of Etan Patz


Kim G. said...

Thank you for posting my letter Lisa. I really appreciate your help in getting my cousin's story out there before this critical election. I hope the article strikes a nerve with Manhattan voters and they go to the polls with Etan's face fresh in their minds. This is the last chance we have to keep this serial pedophile from ever being able to harm another child.

Kim G.

Sibby said...

If I were a resident in Manhattan she would have my vote.

I am over halfway through the book, and this case is one that haunts you.

Anonymous said...

So very sad. I can't even begin to imagine the pain and sorrow this family has went through. My heart goes out to the family of Etan. I hope they convict the monster who did this to this innocent child so that the family may find some peace.