Bringing Adam Home

For folks that grew up in the 80′s the America’s Most Wanted TV show was part of life. The Fox network was new and starting in 1988 we watched America’s Most Wanted most every Saturday night. We were also a generation that grew up with the fear of crime: kidnappings, murder, etc. We saw it on TV and in the case of AMW it was and is real, very real. We may have been the first generation that wasn’t let out of our parents’ sights.

To me John Walsh, the host of AMW, was just another TV host. My parents had introduced me to Dragnet years earlier and I saw a similarity in the shows – Walsh’s deadpan presentation. I didn’t know at the time where his passion came from. Maybe my parents told me, but I don’t think I knew until much later that Walsh’s crusade for bringing criminals to justice had a very personal origin. In 1981 John and Reve Walsh’s 6 year old son was kidnapped and murdered.

For me this story represents so much of why our childhood was the way it was and is an origin story for our own parenting paranoia. Now in Bringing Adam Home Les Standiford chronicles the crime and the police case surrounding the crime – telling the story of why it took until 2008 for the case to be officially closed. This story is one of police incompetence and mis-communication. It’s not a fun story, but an important story. Please consider coming to meet Les and Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews.


Written by Joe

2 thoughts on “Bringing Adam Home

  1. Ellis

    Several years ago I actually read John Walsh’s book on this story, Tears of Rage. What an unbelievable and heartbreaking journey he and his former wife Reve went through.

    Adam’s death and the Walsh’s subsequent actions completely transformed the way law enforcement responds to the report of a missing child. I can’t imagine having to search for a missing child without the resources we have today–resources the Walsh’s were not fortunate enough to have at their disposal back then.

    I’m sure this book is very good, and I will look into it. I was pleased to find out recently that this case was finally closed, and that Ottis Toole is almost without a doubt responsible for the abominable act of Adam Walsh’s death, though I’m not sure that closure exists for a tragedy such as this.

  2. Ellis

    Scratch that. Pretty sure the Walsh’s are still married. I’ve read the book by now and must say that it is great. Like you said, not an easy story, one full of heartbreak and despair and frustration, but it is in the end a hopeful one. I’m thankful that justice and truth still exist in our world of fear and uncertainty.


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