Crimes Against Children

John Walsh
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John Walsh

Born December 26, 1945
(1945-12-26) (age 62)

Auburn, New York

John E. Walsh (born December 26, 1945) is the host of the TV show America's Most Wanted. Walsh is known for his anti-crime activism, following the murder of his son, Adam, in 1981.


1 Murder of Adam Walsh

2 Career in television

3 Family

4 Tributes

5 Works

6 References

7 External links

Murder of Adam Walsh

Main article: Murder of Adam Walsh

In the summer of 1981, Walsh was a partner in a hotel management company in Hollywood, Florida. He and his wife, Revé, had a six-year-old son, Adam. On July 27, 1981, Adam was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall, across from the Hollywood Police station. Revé had dropped Adam off in the Sears toy department while she looked for a lamp. When she returned, Adam was missing. Police records in Adam's case released in 1996 show that a 17-year-old security guard asked four boys to leave the department store.[1] Adam is believed to have been one of them. Sixteen days after the abduction, his severed head was found in a drainage canal more than 100 miles away from home. His body was never recovered.

In January 2007, however, deceased serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer fell under suspicion for the murder of Adam. This speculation was discounted by Walsh in an America's Most Wanted statement on February 6, 2007.[2]

Many names had been mentioned in connection to the case in the years since the killing, and before the positive identification of Toole. including serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, but Toole's persistently nagged detectives. John Walsh had long said he believed the drifter was responsible, saying investigators found at Toole's home in Jacksonville a pair of green shorts and a sandal similar to what Adam was wearing.

The Walsh family soon began a campaign to help missing and exploited children. Despite bureaucratic and legislative problems, John and Revé's efforts eventually led to the creation of the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984.

The prime suspect in Adam's abduction and murder, Ottis Toole, was officially identified as Adam Walsh's killer on December 16, 2008. He died in prison in September 1996 while serving a life sentence for other crimes. Hollywood, Florida police officially announced that they concluded Adam Walsh's killer as Ottis Toole and that the case was considered closed.[3] Toole had twice confessed to the killing, but later recanted. Toole had claimed responsibility for hundreds of murders, but police determined that most of the confessions were lies. Toole's niece told John Walsh, her uncle confessed on his deathbed in prison that he killed Adam.

Subsequently, they founded the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to legislative reform. The centers, originally located in West Palm Beach, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Orange County, California; and Rochester, New York; recently merged with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), where John Walsh serves on the Board of Directors.

Today, Walsh continues to testify before Congress and state legislatures on crime, missing children and victims' rights issues. His latest efforts include lobbying for a Constitutional amendment for victims' rights.
John Walsh has been contatced by Better Tomorrows "Crimes Against Children on cases as recent as Shawn Nornbeck who was reunited with his family. Better Tomorrows Faught for years for the media for the people with the power to keep shawn case open make that happen, The United States President was fast to act implamenting stronger laws concening the people who commit Crimes Against Children.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (Pub.L. 109-248) was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on July 27, 2006 following a two-year journey through the United States Congress and was intensely lobbied for by Walsh and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Primarily, it focuses on a national sex offender registry, tough penalties for not registering as a sex offender following release into society, and access by citizens to state websites that track sex offenders.

Career in television

Walsh presents a fugitive on America's Most Wanted. Walsh has also been the host of the FOX television show America's Most Wanted since 1988. He was selected as host after the completion of the program's pilot and a lengthy search. By that time, Walsh was already well known because of the murder of his son and his subsequent actions to help missing and exploited children. Walsh was host of The John Walsh Show, a daily daytime talk show which aired in syndication (mostly on NBC stations, as NBC produced the series) from 2002 to 2004.[4]

In July 2005, Walsh attempted to assist the family of missing teen Natalee Holloway. Walsh was critical of the Aruban crime investigation and, along with television personality Dr. Phil, urged Americans to boycott Aruba. Walsh was a special guest on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired on August 14, 2005. The episode visited the home of Colleen Nick, who is the parent of Morgan Nick (disappeared in 1995, still missing). Walsh has featured the Morgan Nick case on America's Most Wanted several times.

John and Revé Walsh were portrayed by actors Daniel J. Travanti and JoBeth Williams in Adam, a 1983 NBC television movie dramatizing the days following Adam's disappearance. The real Walshes appeared at the end of the broadcast to publicize photographs of other children who had vanished but were still missing. And later, a sequel called Adam: His Song Continues.

He also starred as the plot's enemy/monster (a scarecrow used as a servant with consquences) in an episode of the hit 1990's horror fiction TV Series-Are You Afraid Of The Dark? In 'The Tale Of The Silent Servant'.


After the murder of Adam, the Walshes had three more children: Meghan, Callahan, and Hayden. Revé filed for divorce on August 1, 2002 on the heels of John's discovery of her continuing infidelity. They later reconciled and the divorce proceeding was dismissed. John and Revé currently divide their time between homes in South Florida and upstate New York.

Meghan was born a year after Adam was murdered. Revé Walsh told local newspapers at the time that "there is no substitute for Adam." She also said "Meghan will make me miss Adam more. He always wanted a sister." Meghan is currently an artist and resides in New York City.

Callahan was born in 1985, and is currently attending college in Florida, majoring in business. He has considered following in his father's footsteps in television broadcasting and as a political advocate for children.

Hayden (born 1995) is the youngest child. He accompanies his father when filming TV shows, including America's Most Wanted. On the July 27, 2006 show of Larry King Live, Larry King said that Hayden resembled Adam.


In 2002, rapper Bizzy Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony wrote a song for the show and dedicated it to Adam and John Walsh, encouraging abduction survivors not to keep their abductions a secret, as Bizzy Bone did after being abducted in the early 1980s.

On August 16, 2006, Walsh's hometown of Auburn, New York named a street after him.[5]

In 2005, John Walsh appeared as himself in Outsiders #18 (January 2005), a comic book series published by DC Comics. In the story, written by Judd Winick, Walsh aided the eponymous superhero team in going public on America's Most Wanted with information regarding a child slave trader, which eventually led to a solid lead gained from the tips that poured in.

For a few years in the early 1990s, due to his presence on the Fox network, Walsh also appeared on their Saturday morning educational kids segments, Totally For Kids. Walsh would appear with the segments' usual roster of child actors to help illustrate scenarios in which children could often be in danger, and the solutions they could seek. Subjects ranged from encounters with strangers to child abuse. Most installments Walsh appeared in culminated with reminder to dial 911 in an emergency, showing a kid dressed up in a phone costume.

A punk rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio, named itself "John Walsh" in order to spread a positive message to teens. With lyrics such as "the speeding criminal is the coward," and "Don't spend the years being hurt / Don't spend your life loving jerks," they tackle themes from domestic violence to drunk driving.

In October 2008, John Walsh was awarded the Operation Kids 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.[6] for his dedication to protecting children and to raise funds for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which Walsh co-founded with his wife.[7]


Tears of Rage (1997)

No Mercy (1998)

Public Enemies (2001)


1. ^ America's Most Wanted, The Story Of Adam Walsh. Retrieved February 14, 2007.

2. ^ America's Most Wanted, AMW Statement on Reports Of Possible Adam Walsh/Jeffrey Dahmer Connection, 2/6/2007. Retrieved February 14, 2007.

3. ^ [Killer of "Most Wanted" Host's Son Identified] December 16, 2008

4. ^ IMDB, "The John Walsh Show". Retrieved February 14, 2007.

5. ^ City of Auburn, NY, Council Meeting, August 31, 2006, August 25, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2007.

6. ^ Rick Larsen. "On Saving Children." "A Voice for Children." 2008-10-06.

7. ^ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "Board of Directors." 2008-10-06.



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