Entries in Confession (5)


Police Investigate Reddit Murder 'Confession'

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- California police are investigating an alleged murder, confessed anonymously on the internet and brought to the authorities' attention by citizen sleuths who believe they may have uncovered the poster's identity.

The San Diego Police Department is picking up where users of the popular website Reddit left off, working to confirm if indeed a murder actually took place and if so, who is responsible, said police spokesman Lt. Kevin Mayer.

"This may be a hoax and it may be real," said Mayer. "We received a tip and our Cold Case Unit is investigating it like any other tip. It may be a hoax, but it's always a good idea to report this kind of information. Sometimes it's the one thing that breaks open a case."

The confession came in an unlikely place, a caption on a photograph of a bear. Reddit users typically admit to innocuous mistakes or misdeeds by adding text to the bear picture to create a meme called Confession Bear.

But this bear had a startling confession.

"My sister had an abusive meth addict boyfriend. I killed him with his own drugs while he was unconscious and they ruled it as an overdose," a user identified only as Naratto wrote.

Within minutes, the post went viral, with thousands of Reddit users wondering if it was true. Hundreds of others began searching for information about Naratto, looking for clues to his identity – his age, location, occupation – mentioned in other comments he had left previously.

"If I had a dollar for every time someone took me… seriously on the internet, I would be able to retire from today alone," Naratto, wrote in response to the comments and questions. "If you want to catch a murderer, get out of your house, put on some f***ing tights and go fight crime."

Users believe the clues point to a 24-year-old San Diego man, and have posted his name and photograph online.

Police said there are currently no suspects because they do not even know if a crime has taken place and therefore won't name anyone as the subject of an investigation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Etan Patz Suspect's Sister Reportedly Told Police He Confessed to Murder

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The sister of Pedro Hernandez, the New Jersey man arrested on suspicion of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz 33 years ago, has reportedly said that she alerted police in the early 1980s that her brother had confessed to the crime to a church group.

Norma Hernandez, 53, said that she was informed by family members that her brother had confessed to abducting and killing Patz to a prayer group at St. Anthony of Padua, a Roman Catholic Church in Camden, N.J., according to The Wall Street Journal.  The suspect's sister said that other family members were present at the time of his alleged confession and that she informed Camden police after they told her about it.

It is still unclear what the Camden police did with the information that she said she gave them.  The Camden County Prosecutor's Office told the Wall Street Journal Monday that the office wouldn't discuss the case.

"I just feel angry that people who heard the confession didn't do anything," Norma Hernandez told the newspaper.

She added that her brother had returned from New York City after the killing, and would frequently look out the window.

"He was afraid or something," she said.

Pedro Hernandez was arrested Thursday after telling authorities that he'd lured Patz to his death with the promise of soda in lower Manhattan on May 25, 1979.  He reportedly said that he'd strangled Patz and then stuffed the boy's body into a plastic garbage bag, carried it to another location and then dumped it in the trash.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Etan Patz Suspect Tells Cops He Strangled Little Boy, Put Body in Box

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A suspect in the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz 33 years ago has confessed to strangling the little boy and disposing his lifeless body in a box, authorities said.

New York City police on Wednesday detained Pedro Hernandez, 51, who worked at a corner store in the Manhattan neighborhood where Patz vanished more than three decades ago. Friday is the anniversary of the boy's disappearance.

Police have expressed a "cautious optimism" that they have cracked a cold case that has haunted New York City for decades and was a major reason that the photos of missing children were put on milk cartons.

The suspect, who would have been 18 when Patz disappeared, has told investigators that he strangled Patz and put his body in a box to dispose of it.

But the police have yet to charge Hernandez with any crime. Those charges could come as early as Thursday.

Hernandez was questioned when the reinvestigation of the long dormant case resumed in January 2010. The suspect has made numerous admissions implicating himself, but investigators remain cautious because some of Hernandez's statements contradict known facts, sources said.

Patz disappeared in May 25, 1979 while walking to school for the first time near his parents' apartment in SoHo section of Manhattan.

"An individual now in custody has made statements to N.Y.P.D. detectives implicating himself in the disappearance and death of Etan Patz 33 years ago," Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.

Hernandez was taken into custody at his residence in Maple Shade, N.J., on Wednesday morning. He had never previously been named as a suspect.

New York City police officers accompanied by local cops took him into custody at his New Jersey home at 7:30 a.m. Hernandez lives in the rental apartment with his wife and daughter. Neighbors describe him as quiet and "the best tenant ever."

Though police have named other suspects in the past none have ever been arrested or charged. Mayor Michael Bloomberg declined to provide details Thursday, but said, "A person of interest is in custody and being questioned."

"The suspect came forward and made a statement implicating himself. I caution you all that there's a lot more investigating to do," the mayor said.

On Thursday morning, NYPD Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski walked along Prince Street, where Patz vanished. Pulaski and his team were reexamining the crime scene in light of new information they have obtained from questioning Hernandez.

Neither Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, nor the FBI would comment on the investigation.

The family did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

Watch the full story on ABC's 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iowa Double Murder: Man Confesses Three Decades Later

Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office(WATERLOO, Iowa) -- The grisly murder and robbery of an elderly couple in Waterloo, Iowa, stunned the community three decades ago.  But the case remained unsolved until a 66-year-old man walked into a police station and confessed on Wednesday.

Jack Wendell Pursel was in court Thursday for an initial appearance, where a judge raised Pursel's bail from $500,000 to $2 million for shooting Richard Huntbach, 85, and wife Goldie, 77.

On Wednesday, Pursel, who most recently lived in South Gate, Calif., told Waterloo police details about the crime only someone involved with it would know, said Capt. Tim Pillack of the Waterloo Police Department.

"He just wanted to get it off his mind," Pillack told ABC News.  "He knew of the family.  He said his intention was to go in and rob them and kill them."

After the Huntbachs didn't answer their door on Jan. 12, 1981, a friend alerted officers.

The "nice elderly couple" was found tied up, gagged and shot to death.  Their home had been ransacked.

At the time of the murder, Pillack said authorities interviewed "a lot of people," including Pursel, but weren't able to make any arrests.

Soon after, Pursel moved to California, where he was convicted of two counts of oral copulation with a minor, according to California's sex offender registry.

Months after the Waterloo killings, Pursel began serving a 21-year sentence for the two sex offenses; however, he was paroled in 1992.  He was completely discharged from his sentence in September of 1995, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.

The convicted felon wanted to make amends with his past, Dan Trelka, director of Waterloo's safety services, told the newspaper.

"It's my understanding he found Christ and felt this was the right thing to do," he said.

After three decades, Pillack said he's happy the Waterloo Police Department can put the cold case to rest.

"We were able to put someone in jail and close the case.  It's a great day," he said.

Pursel is being held in the Black Hawk County Jail and is charged with two counts of first degree murder.  His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 18. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Suspect Confesses to Murder of Brooklyn Boy

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The alleged killer of an eight-year-old Brooklyn, New York boy made a full written confession to authorities of how he smothered the boy with a towel and then dismembered him, sources have confirmed to ABC News.

The confession indicated that 35-year-old Levy Aron had panicked after abducting Leiby Kletzky when he realized the entire neighborhood -- home to a tightly-knit strict sect of religious Jews -- had been searching for the boy, ABC News confirmed.

The Brooklyn district attorney had no comment on the man's confession.

Police on Wednesday arrested Aron, whom Kletsky had asked for directions before his dismembered body was found early Wednesday in two separate locations, including the man's refrigerator, authorities said.

ABC News learned that parts of the confession were graphic, but law enforcement sources would not disclose those details, which included the specifics of the boy's dismemberment and the packing of his body parts.

Sources told ABC that the suspect also made taped admissions.

The two-day search for Kletsky ended early Wednesday when remains believed to be the boy's were found in two Brooklyn locations, two-and-a-half miles from each other.  Body parts were found in a black plastic garbage bag inside of suitcase in a dumpster and in the refrigerator of the third floor attic of the home where Aron lived, police said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Kletsky was reported missing Monday when he did not meet his mother at a pre-arranged location seven blocks from his camp.  Police say the boy and the mother had gone to the location Friday and she had showed him the route he was to take.

Police say Kletsky left camp at 5:05 p.m. and missed the turn he was to take to meet his mother.  He was lost and asked a stranger, Aron, for directions, police said.  The suspect was reportedly described as wearing "trappings" of the Orthodox Jewish community.

An autopsy of Kletzky's body was begun Thursday morning.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio