Almost four decades after first-grader Etan Patz set out for school and ended up at the heart of one of America’s most influential missing-child cases, a former store clerk convicted of killing him was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.
In a few angry words, Etan’s father condemned the convicted man.
“Pedro Hernandez, after all these years, we finally know what dark secret you had locked in your heart,” Stan Patz said. “I will never forgive you. The god you pray to will never forgive you. You are the monster in your nightmares.”
His wife, Julie Patz, wiped tears from her eyes as she witnessed the culmination of a long quest to hold someone accountable for their son’s disappearance. The case affected police practices, parenting and the nation’s consciousness of missing children.
Hernandez, 56, didn’t look at the Patzes, speak or react as he got the maximum allowable sentence: 25 years to life in prison, meaning he won’t be eligible for parole until he has served the quarter-century. Read more at CBS.