The Etan Patz suspect Pedro Hernandez has delivered a bombshell to the prosecution by now claiming to be both bipolar and schizophrenic. And on top of that, he started talking about being suicidal when he realized he would come face to face with his accusers in a Manhattan court room on Friday.
It isn't unusual for a person accused of such a heinous crime as killing an innocent child to suddenly feel suicidal. They should, if truth be told, as they've done something truly reprehensible in the eyes of God and man.
And it isn't unusual for a killer to claim to be mentally incompetent, so their defense attorney can get them out of their crime and the long punishment it should entail.
So when Pedro Hernandez said he needed his HIV medication while en route to the Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, the 33rd anniversary of the disappearance of Etan Patz, it really should have been a red flag to the cops taking him there.
But like in 1979, when the killer escaped the clutches of the law by quitting his job and moving away, Hernandez was thinking on his feet again and quitting his confession to seek shelter in the only place he can now: a hospital.
And the cops obliged, never giving nary a thought to the killer's ployÂ—yet again.
Once safely cocooned in Bellevue Hospital, allegedly for his HIV meds, the confessing killer then started talking suicide. And as anyone with knowledge about the law enforcement community knows, a suicidal person has to be treated and kept from harming themselves.
That meant no Manhattan court appearance on Friday for the man who allegedly snuffed out the life of a little boy with his bare hands the same day 33 years ago. Instead, he got to sit in a hospital conference room, minus spectators and the crowd that would have surely gathered.
Pedro Hernandez got what he wanted in 1979, and Pedro Hernandez got what he wanted now in 2012. But will the self-professing killer get what he wants in the endÂ—freedom due to his mental illnesses?
Having a mental illness does not make one a killer. Having two mental illnesses does not make someone a killer either. And it does a great disservice to the law-abiding mentally ill people in the country for killers to allege that incapacity when finally facing punishment for their crimes.
It also thwarts justice for such a killer to escape their day in court, as Hernandez did on Friday. And it certainly doesn't speak well of the police, who didn't question him back then--and can't seem to outthink him now.
But don't look for the jury to find Pedro Hernandez guilty of this crime by reason of insanity, as a group of his peers will know that an insane man wouldn't function rationally and normally for the past 33 years and only "lose it" for one single day, 33 years ago.
Or that he would lose it again, while en route to a Manhattan court room, on that same day 33 years later. That's the mind of a sane man. That's the mind of the Etan Patz suspect.