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Adam Walsh Case Finally Solved After 27 Years

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 4:12 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Adam Walsh, Missing and Exploited Children, Pedophiles, Child Safety

Adam Walsh case finally solved.

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IMAGE:  Adam Walsh, Fox

John Walsh is known as the host of the Fox show “America’s Most Wanted,” but many people don’t know how he attained that spot.

Formerly an executive in the hotel business, Walsh became an advocate for victims and of apprehending perpetrators after his son Adam was kidnapped and from a Sears store at the Hollywood Mall in Florida on July 27, 1981.

The boy’s severed head was found one month later in a canal near Vero Beach. His body was never found.

Now the case is closed.

Hollywood Police Chief Chadwick Wagner announced today the murder mystery has been solved.

Pedophile and convicted murderer Ottis Toole abducted and killed Adam Walsh 27 years ago it was announced at a news conference today by police in Hollywood, Florida.   

Toole, a drifter who died in prison on unrelated charges in 1996 had always been a top suspect. He had confessed to more than 100 murders and to the Walsh killing in October 1983 but later recanted.  

In 1983, he told police he abducted Adam from the mall and drove for an hour to an isolated dirt road where he decapitated him.  Police did find blood in the carpet of Toole’s white Cadillac but there was no DNA testing back then and it could not be positively identified as Adam’s.

Toole’s confession fell apart when no one could find Walsh’s body in the place Toole said it had been buried.

Things began to change when the Hollywood police department assigned a new detective to the unsolved case. Mark Smith had been pursuing leads attended today’s press conference to talk about the new evidence that led police to positively identify Toole. 

When Smith went back into the case and ordered DNA testing on the bloodstained carpet from the Toole car, they were found to be missing, reports the New York Times.

Toole’s niece said before he died in prison he gave a deathbed confession to Adams murder.

Walsh and his wife Reve had for years called the investigation botched – an accusation Wagner confirmed today adding that he hopes the department’s decision can bring the family closure.

"For 27 years we've been asking who could take a six-year-old boy and murder him and decapitate him? Who? We needed to know," said John Walsh, as tears streamed down his face. "And today we know. The not knowing has been a torture but that journey is over."

Hollywood Police Chief Chad Wagner apologized to the Walshes for mistakes that he said were made early on in the investigation, before he became police chief, ABC News reports. Wagner said there was enough evidence against Toole to charge him before his death and the case should have been closed years ago.

Since his son’s disappearance, Walsh has worked tirelessly on the issue of missing and abducted children. Walsh became involved in such cases after finding that the FBI would not get involved without proof there had been a kidnapping. 

The Walsh family helped others who were without options after their children went missing.

In October 1982, Congress passed the Missing Children Act. Walsh’s testimony the year before helped the Act into effect.   February 7 1988, America’s Most Wanted (AMW) debuted on the Fox Network.

The Adam Walsh Child Resource Center has assisted law enforcement with more than 148,160 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 132,300 children.

In 1990 the FBI named Walsh the “FBI’s Man of the Year” because of the hundreds of cases his show helped solved.

Fox canceled the show in November 1996, but after outrage was expressed by more than 185,000 viewers, 37 state governors, 55 members of Congress, and the attorneys general of all 50 states, the show returned to the air.

In July 2001, AMW was credited with the arrest of 673 fugitives and the recovery of 29 missing children during the show’s history.

“Adams Law” was a bill signed by President Bush in July 2006.

Named for Adam Walsh, it created a sex offender registry in all 50 states, funds 500 marshals to apprehend registered sex offenders and mandates DNA be taken from all convicted sex offenders. It’s estimated about 100,000 sex offenders disappear and drop through the cracks with no one knowing their whereabouts.  #


3 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by alain
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 7:25 PM EST

wow.......... i thought people were retarded but not like that. thats like i dont even have words for this this is just to amazing

Jane Akre Injury Board Community Member
Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 10:30 PM EST

Your news editor did not even include the links to Toole and his partner, Henry Lee Lucas and their killing rampage.

Only those with the strongest of stomachs should Google the duo. Ironically, child protection laws in place today might have intervened in their deprived childhoods and altered the way they turned out.

Question- When someone has served their time, should they continue to be followed by law enforcement? Does the likelihood of repeat offenses mean they should be supervised for the rest of their lives, unlike other crimes?
A tough ethical question perhaps?

Anonymous User
Posted by peggy
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:09 AM EST

To Jane Akre:

Doing your time is the only recourse for criminals that the law has in place, but it is not a deterrent for the sickness it takes in the first place to commit some crimes. Once a thief, always a thief? maybe, maybe not. Once a kidnapper, torturer, mutilator of children for only the thrill of it -- always one? Probably. Lets not find out. We gotta watch these monsters, educate our defenses against these monsters, have laws in place about how we raise our children so they don't turn into these sick monsters, and for Gods sake, WATCH our innocent children.

Comments for this article are closed.

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