Why Did "America's Most Wanted" Not Catch the Murderer of Adam Walsh?
The story of Adam Walsh has always been murky as I learned it. His father, John Walsh, is a man of fame in that he has been the host of America's Most Wanted since its beginning. AMW has been a most successful show, both in terms of ratings and the capture of many criminals brought to justice by the public eye the show afforded.
Since I first began watching this show, a very interesting and well put-together series, all I knew about John Walsh was that his son had been abducted and murdered, the child's head was found in a canal near his home, that the murder was allegedly committed by a nasty fellow then currently serving time. Always unspoken was the concept that it was a waste of time to prosecute this guy for the murder of Adam Walsh as he was in prison for the rest of his life anyway for numerous other murders.
In "Bringing Adam Home" I learned the real story behind the murder of Adam Walsh and how sloppy police work kept his murderer, Ottis Toole, from ever being charged with Adam's murder.
I was shocked.
While there might be some logic behind not bothering with a long drawn-out prosecution of a murderer that will never walk free anyway, there's a whole bunch that gets overlooked with this attitude.
The very first disregard is to the feelings of the loved ones of the victim. I was soon disabused of my former supposition that the Walsh's were okay with not prosecuting their son's murderer. But then neither Walsh had never said anything in protest to their son's murderer not ever being charged with the crime and so I assumed….
To not bother charging a perpetrator with a crime because he or she is already in jail is like telling the loved ones of the victim that their lives didn't matter, that the cost of a trial for an already imprisoned perp was more than the victim was worth.
Second, if no one is ever charged with the crime, shouldn't the case still be open, shouldn't police personnel be still actively involved in the pursuit of the perpetrator?
There's a big chasm left with the careless attitude that if the perps already in jail, why bother?
It would turn out, as the reader of this book is carefully taught, that the reason Adam Walsh's perp was never charged with his murder was about sloppy and lazy police work, equal amounts of each.
And no, John and Reve Walsh were not okay with their son's murderer never being charged with the crime, this the reader learns as well.
The story is told, as it happened, as it was investigated, as Ottis Toole says it happened, as many witnesses told their part, as investigators other than Florida's Hollywood police department got involved in the investigation to be shocked at the disregard of evidence and eyewitness testimony.
Why on earth did the police department charged with investigating the death of Adam Walsh consider what has to be one of the biggest crimes under their purview treat the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator so unimportant?
I read this book with my jaw almost touching the floor, so shocked was I. Plenty of other jurisdictions were charging Ottis Toole with murders he committed under their purview even though he was in jail. Why, dear Lord, WHY, didn't the investigators charged with bringing justice for little Adam Walsh have such a lackadaisical attitude? Where was their pride?
Read this book because the one detective who'd been constantly frustrated over the Hollywood police department's careless attitude of seeking justice for the most innocent of their citizens will tell the whole story.
It's shocking both by the crime, the criminal and the detectives investigating it all.