Jury Selection Begins in Etan Patz Murder Case Retrial

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Jury selection has begun for a retrial in one of the most notorious murder cases in New York City: the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz.

Suspect Pedro Hernandez, 55, was indicted for murder and kidnapping in November 2012. The New Jersey man told police in an hours-long confession that in 1979 he lured Patz into the convenience store where he worked as a teen, promising him a soda before he choked the boy and threw his body in the trash.

The 2015 trial against Hernandez resulted in a mistrial after 18 days of jury deliberations deadlocked three times.

Hernandez's arrest in May of 2012 proved controversial, as the hunt for forensic evidence to back up his admissions of guilt failed to yield any results, and prosecution had to rely on his admissions -- both in the videotaped confession to police and in the past -- and the fact that he was present in the neighborhood when Patz disappeared.

Patz vanished on May 25, 1979 in Soho as he walked to the bus stop alone for the first time. His disappearance sparked the national effort of putting missing kids on milk cartons, and May 25 is now known as National Missing Children's Day, in Patz's honor.

Hernandez was not a suspect in the initial investigation, which hit a wall soon after Patz's disappearance.

The boy's body was never found.

Hernandez’s defense attorney, Harvey Fishbein, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on an open court case.

Fishbein said in November 2012 that Hernandez suffers from a mental illness and statements to police are not reliable.

In December 2012, Hernandez pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick Gregory

Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick GregoryBrent N. Clarke/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The death of comedian and activist Dick Gregory at age 84 on Saturday prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter from celebrities, activists and others.

Jane Sanders recalled how her husband -- Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate -- once spent a night in jail with Gregory after protesting segregation in Chicago.

RIP Dick Gregory, a good & brave man. He & @SenSanders spent the night in jail together for protesting Chicago segregated schools in the 60s https://t.co/pYpMU34eOx

— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) August 20, 2017

Democratic National Committee vice chairman Keith Ellison posted a photo of himself with Gregory. "Thank you for giving yourself to all of us," he wrote.

Dick Gregory, may God Bless you and Keep you. Thank you for giving yourself to all of us. pic.twitter.com/Z1dLIvYuBn

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) August 20, 2017

Activist and writer Shaun King posted pictures of Gregory as a young man. "Rest in power, good sir," King wrote.

Because many of you probably only knew Dick Gregory as an older man, I wanted to show you these young images.

Rest in power good sir. pic.twitter.com/ZayInokcaJ

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 20, 2017

Singer John Legend called Gregory a "groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice."

Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice. RIP

— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 20, 2017

Some people posted excerpts from Gregory's memoir, "Callous on My Soul," such as when he wrote about a waitress in the South telling him that they "don't serve colored people."

White lady: We don't serve colored people here.

Dick Gregory: I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.

RIP Mr. Gregory😰 pic.twitter.com/t8dnuRJhBC

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 20, 2017

Here is a sample of some other tweets paying tribute to Gregory and lamenting his passing.

Comedian Dick Gregory always told it like it is. Our laughter was fuel to fight for justice in an unjust world. RIP 1932-2017 pic.twitter.com/wpbdEkvny1

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 20, 2017

Marching w/ King. Sitting w/ Ali. Paving the way for our comedic greats. All while fighting for us.

Rest well Dick Gregory. #blkcreatives pic.twitter.com/GsfRTjHSuy

— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) August 20, 2017

He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight.He taught us how to live.Dick Gregory was committed to justice.I miss him already. #RIP pic.twitter.com/3CfpM2O17D

— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 20, 2017

Rest In Peace to civil rights icon Dick Gregory. An inspiration. A hero. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/kIzeYMNjor

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 20, 2017


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