On the morning of May 25, 1979, six-year-old Etan Patz kissed his mother goodbye on the sidewalk outside his parents’ downtown Manhattan loft and set off for his school bus stop, walking the two short blocks on his own for the very first time. But he never made it to school that day, and he never came home.
Etan Patz, the most famous missing child since the Lindbergh baby, became quite literally the poster child for a new movement, in a case that would change our cultural landscape forever. Thirty years later May 25th will be recognized as National Missing Children's Day, as it is every year, in Etan's honor.
But despite the overwhelming publicity his case received, the public knows only a fraction of what happened, because it is so much more than a heart-wrenching mystery.
It is also the story of the men, women, and children who were touched by his life, after he vanished.
It's the story of the agonies and triumphs of the Patz family.
It's the story of the careening twists and turns of federal prosecutor Stuart GraBois's relentless pursuit of his prime suspect. Jose Antonio Ramos is in prison not for Etan Patz, but BECAUSE of him. GraBois put him there for another crime against a child, and won't rest until Ramos faces charges for crimes against Etan. The serial child molester is up for parole in June 2009, and even if he doesn't get it, Ramos will walk free in 2014. Unless GraBois, Stan Patz, and others working with them, stop him.
From GraBois's creative "outside the box" tactics, to the veteran cop who made his first pedophile bust on a dark Times Square rooftop, to the FBI rookie who cut her teeth chasing the case through the dark recesses of a child molester's mind…this is the story of the heroic investigators who, to this day, thirty years later, continue to seek justice for Etan.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews and nearly twenty years of research - including access to the Patz family's personal files – in the first book ever on the subject, Lisa R. Cohen finally reveals the entire dramatic tale, and lays out the case against Jose Ramos for the public to judge for themselves.