What famous male TV host used his horrific experience as a parent to host a show that helps prevent what happened to him, from happening to others?
America's Most Wanted host John Walsh has been through something no parent should ever have to go through: the abduction and murder of his son. On July 27th, 1981 John and his wife Revé's six year old son Adam went missing from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall, which sits directly across from the Hollywood Police Station. Revé had left Adam in the toy section while she went to find a lamp. When she returned several minutes later, she discovered Adam was missing.
Sixteen days after Adam's abduction, his severed head was found in a drainage canal 120 miles away from the Walsh home. The other remains of the six year old were never found.
Nearly three decades later, on December 16th, 2008 the killer was identified by the Hollywood Police Department as notorious serial killer Ottis Toole. John Walsh had long said that he believed Toole, a drifter, to be the culprit, as investigators found a pair of green shorts and a sandal similar to what Adam was wearing inside Toole's Jacksonville home. Toole confessed to the murder twice, however both times he later recanted his confessions. Toole died in prison in 1996 while serving a life sentence; but due to evidence and circumstances surrounding the abduction and murder, the case was officially considered closed in December 2008.
Following the crime, the Walsh family became activists for missing and exploited children. Their efforts led to the creation of the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984 and many other laws and various codes being passed over the years that help protect our children and our youth. Many of which are named in honor of Adam Walsh.