Adam Walsh, the 6 year old son of crime fighter John Walsh was murdered 27 years ago. John Walsh turned his grief into helping others, by going after child abductors and other criminals with a vengeance as the host of the TV show America’s Most Wanted.

Today, John Walsh got his final answer. The suspect, Ottis Toole, a known imprisoned pedophile, had given a death bed confession in 1997. Today the Hollywood, Florida police announced that they were closing their investigation and that Toole was the murderer, after sifting through confessions, recants, and more confessions. The Walsh family now has some justice and closure. John Walsh tonight, through his tears, told other parents never to give up.

John Walsh helped change the way America looks at missing children. He helped found the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 1984. He also helped get Adam’s Law enacted in 2006 which created strict requirements for registering sex offenders.

We have had some horrific things happen in Manassas and Prince William County. Our local police departments have been fabulous crime solvers. However, let’s face it; there are bad people out there. Just this past week or so, we have had a senior citizen sheriff deputy arrested for child pornography, a 13 year old and a developmentally delayed woman raped. This is the tip of the iceberg.

We have to continue to arrest, prosecute, sentence and incarcerate people to do evil things to other people. It does no good to single out people by ethnicity, age, immigration status, or other attributes. We need to watch our children very carefully and we need to remain vigilant and alert to protect those we love.

Above all, John Walsh has made us aware. Through his suffering and grief, he has saved many other children by his persistence. Child predators cannot continue to move freely through our society. They must be caught, brought to justice, and put where they can no longer prey upon others.

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29 thoughts on “Adam Walsh Murder Finally Solved

  1. Elena

    Thank you for posting this Moon-Howler,
    I saw the story on CNN tonight. I remember, not long ago, watching a documentary on Adam Walsh. It just breaks your heart to watch the agony these parents must suffer when a child is kidnapped and murdered. I just cannot fathom it, my mind can’t go there. Watching John Walsh cry tonight, reminded me, that pain must be so close to the surface, just waiting, waiting to break through.

  2. Rick Bentley

    “It does no good to single out people by ethnicity, age, immigration status, or other attributes.”

    Hmmm … not even attributes like :

    Homelessness
    Lack of valid ID, lack of law enforcement to track identity
    Affiliation with gangs

    not even worth considering?

  3. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    You gotta give the guy a lot of credit…he took a situation that would drive many folks into unrecoverable depression and turned it into something incredible. Mr. Walsh is an inspiration.

  4. Moon-howler

    I definitely give him a lot of credit. Just think of the number of children he has saved from the same fate as Adam. Yesterday, seeing him on TV, the tough guy image melted and you could still see his raw pain. I cannot imagine anything so awful.

  5. Lucky Duck

    John Walsh was the single, most important part of getting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) established. He pushed the funding through based upon his family’s story and sheer determination.

    NCMEC is an invaluable tool whenever a child goes missing. We are fortunate to have the Center locally and they have been an invaluable source for local agencies…all free of charge. Local agencies have used them in hundreds of cases that have been successfully concluded – some with great news, some with great devastation for the families but they always offer unquestioned assistance with the child in mind.

    Mr. Walsh is indeed, an inspiration.

  6. Much of the work Adam Walsh has done has saved many people from devastating crimes. There’s no doubt we all owe a debt of gratitude for the work he’s done to capture those who have committed crimes.

    But these are very difficult issues to discuss concerning the subject matter. And the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was one idea that I wish he had not pursued.

    It is eerily similar to the notion of ‘pre-crimes’ that was explored in the film Minority Report. Except that this Act uses preordained profiles to designate people as criminals and punish them before they’ve committed the crime.

    I support Elena when she says:

    We have to continue to arrest, prosecute, sentence and incarcerate people to do evil things to other people. It does no good to single out people by ethnicity, age, immigration status, or other attributes. We need to watch our children very carefully and we need to remain vigilant and alert to protect those we love.

    We need to punish people after they have committed crimes. Just as it’s wrong to treat people with less rights due to skin color, so too is it wrong to do so when they fit a preordained profile, and that includes the fact that they may have committed a sex crime in the past.

    Despite the existence of sex offender registries, child molestation will continue to occur. I think it would be a mistake to think the existence of a sex offender registry makes your child safer and thereby lower your guard.

  7. Lucky Duck

    You’re fighting a losing battle on this one. Sex Offender registries are an excellent source of information for everyone in the community.

    Here are some recidivism statistics from the Justice Department and the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) which is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Office of Justice Programs, the National Institute of Corrections, and the State Justice Institute; it is administered by the Center for Effective Public Policy and the American Probaion and Parole Association.

    One review of recidivism rates (p.7) found: “Incest offenders ranged between 4 and 10 percent. Rapists ranged between 7 and 35 percent. Child molesters with female victims ranged between 10 and 29 percent. Child molesters with male victims ranged between 13 and 40 percent. Exhibitionists ranged between 41 and 71 percent.”
    Within 3 years following their release, 5.3% of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime.

    The Justice Department study found that, with the subjects in their study, compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime.

    Sex Offender registries give members of a community knowlege that they need with their children and themselves.

  8. Moon-howler

    The information provided by Lucky Duck is a strong argument for chemical castration or longer incarceration. From everything I have ever heard from experts in the field, once a molester, always a molester. If that targets someone, tough. I would watch them like a hawk.

  9. Elena

    If you recall, the man, Cooey, I think that was his name, who murdered little Jessica Lunsford, was a registered sex offender. Although I don’t think just have a registry keeps children safe, it does give people information that can be invaluable.

    I do believe that part of the “cure” is to get families help who have experienced child molestation. Although being molested is not a predictor of future behavior, one finds that there tends to be a common experience of previous child molestation of child sex offenders.

    Oh, Mackie, just to clarify, Moon-howler wrote this excellent post.

  10. Moon-howler

    Here is the question: Is child molestation more prevalent nowadays and if so, what causes it? Does the internet push more people over the edge?

    When I was growing up, I don’t remember there being this many perverts. Kids could go outside and play all day, from daylight to dusk. What are the statistics on this kind of crime?

    It almost sickens me too much to investigate it. Cooey needs to die a painful death. The Caylee Anthony story sickens me also. There is always some jerk who will feel sorry for these killers.

  11. Moon-howler

    Elena, I agree with you about getting help for victims. I think that is pretty standard now, although how good the help is ….still questionable.

    I would think that victims of priests would be high risk also. While this kind of molestation isn’t generally associated with violence, there is just something so creepy about it because of the trust that we place in people of the cloth.

  12. Lucky Duck

    Elena, there is less of a stigma attached to victims today when they report such crimes.

    There is also less of a stigma of shame when it is reported as family sexual abuse. Years ago, it was not reported for a variety of reasons such as shame, or if the accused was the sole income provider, that too impacted reporting. There is now more outreach in the schools, medical profession (doctors and nurses – particularly ER medical personnel who are now highly trained to notice clues they may have missed in the past) and soclal agencies such as Child Protective Services, Social Services and police. There are also legal statues that mandate reporting by medical personnel, teachers, Social Services and Police and Fire.

    I don’t think it was any less prevelant in the past, it was just not reported by the victim or covered up by the family and a lot of the people in the chain of service did not know what to look for.

  13. Unless the recidivism rates are 100%, they can’t be used to justify things like the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

    We have a decision to make. Are we or are we not a society where you are innocent until proven guilty? There is a price to be paid either way.

  14. Mando

    When it comes to civil rights vs. the safety of our children, as a society, we tend to lean toward safety. I’m ok with that.

  15. Moon-howler

    Mando, 100% agreement as long as due process is part of the equation. Not overkill due process either….minimal. Kids pre-pubescent kids rarely lie about such things. Leaning toward safety with you on this one.

  16. Lucky Duck

    Nobody is listed in the data base as a Sex Offender until they are convicted of a sexual offense. If they are found guilty of a lesser offense (ex. – Assault and Battery instead of Sexual Assault) they are NOT listed as a sex offender. Only after conviction of a sexual offense, so it is only after proven guilty.

  17. Alanna

    Thanks for posting this M-H. I, too, followed this story closely. I read the book that John Walsh wrote in which he gave an extremely honest account of what transpired. He even revealed that his wife was having an extra-marital affair and the police were initially suspicious of her lover.

    Also, back in the mid-nineties, I encouraged Manassas Mall to be adopt the ‘Code Adam’ Program which is a procedure for store personnel to follow in the event of a missing child. If I remember correctly the only store at that time that had adopted the program nationwide was Walmart. The County Board of Supervisors even dedicated a week in acknowledgment.

  18. Mando

    @ M-H and Lucky Duck

    I think Mackie is taking the pure libertarian stance that once the child molester is convicted and serves his/her time they’ve paid their debt to society. Putting them in a sex offender database is beyond that punishment and encroaching on their civil rights.

  19. Moon-howler

    I don'[t believe you can ever outlive or outrun being a child molester. Once convicted, you own that title for life.

  20. The same paradigm that you find in racial profiling is at work here. Does anyone here support racial profiling?

  21. Moon-howler

    There is a huge difference in a convicted sex offender and someone who has been racially profiled. And now you mention it, it depends on what is really meant by racial profiling. That seems to be a buzz word that is overly used. Actually, people racially profile every day.

    Back to sexual offenders–all the stats establish and verify that this crime is one that has the highest recidivism. The negative consequences don’t seem to make a dent in breaking the undesirable behavior. And you cannot have that running around loose.

  22. michael

    Thanks Moon-howler for posting this. I’ve been saying all along, don’t judge people by gender, race, religion or ethnic group, but by what they do to others and by the fact that they are breaking law. Every “illegal” immigrant that is deported and may happen to also be a closet “molester” or the next drunk driver killer is one less “protected and invisible” criminal to victimize our innocents on our streets. We unfortunately have to “live with” our societies existing “legal” perverts and drunks, and that is why law enforcement is so necessary for a safe and ethical society.

    A standard of Law and law enforcement is the only way to sift the wheat from the chaff, the thugs from the angels.
    Stiff law enforcement and all encompassing equitable law enforcement is also the only way to protect future young innocents like this from people who would do them harm. And yes, people do have different “humanities” as John Walsh will tearfully tell you.

  23. michael

    Mackie, to clarify your point on serving sentance, being placed in a sex offender database is part of the sentencing and part of the punishment “for life”. It protects the innocent as the “greater harmed” more than protecting the criminal as the “lessor harmed”. Crimes do not happen in isolation on the effects on others, regarding civil liberties. You commit a crime that affects the safety and security “civil rights” of others, you lose some of those “constitutional” liberties, often for life.

  24. Alanna

    Michael,
    When your wife was ‘illegal’ was she more inclined to be a drunk driver?

    Even Rick’s post showed statistical evidence that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes, so I’m not sure why you would believe otherwise.

    Thank God John Walsh and America’s Most Wanted have not bought into this nonsense about ‘preventable’ crimes & the undocumented.

  25. Elena

    Agree MH 14:45,
    Judging someone based on outward appearances does NOT equate to knowing that a convicted child molester lives next door to you.

  26. michael

    Alanna, you miss my point, All of you do it seems.

    If 50 people in the US are legal
    And 50 people in the US are illegal

    and 10 legal people drive drunk and kill 10 people
    and 10 “illegal” people drive drunk and kill 10 people.

    20 people die un-necessarily.
    If you deport the “illegals” before they kill someone, then only 10 people die un-necessarily.

    Do you understand this concept? The same can be applied to murderers, rapists, child molesters, thieves, and ANYONE harmed or hurt by the presence of an “illegal” alien in our country.

    This is why I am against “illegals”, not because of what race, religion, gender or religion they are, but the simple fact that they are illegal, have not been invited, overpopulate our country and harm FAR MORE innocent people.

    The issue is “illegal” vs “legal”. Remove the “illegals” and crime will be reduced, and poverty will be reduced.

    Simple, simple, simple concept and truth.

  27. ShellyB

    I vote for sex offender registries.

    I vote against racial profiling.

  28. ShellyB

    Michael, using your own math, we could simply incarcerate 10 percent of the population randomly and save the same number of lives!!!!!!!

  29. ShellyB

    If we’re going to incarcerate 10 percent of the population randomly in order to cut down on traffic accidents, I vote for incarcerating people with the names Michael and Jennifer. Statistically, this would add up to roughly 10 percent of people. And, if you notice, both Michael and Jennifer are names that are responsible for more drunk driving accidents than any other name in America.

    Never mind that they are the two most popular names, we’ll just leave that out of the Resolution and not admit to it until after it is passed. Can someone contact John Stirrup to sign his name to it?

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