On this date, July 27, 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh was was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, on July 27, 1981, and later found murdered and decapitated.
We, the comrades of Unit 1012: The VFFDP, will make him one of The 82 murdered children of Unit 1012, where we will not forget him. Let us remember how he lived and not how he died. We will always support his family members, especially his father, who is a crime victim advocate.
We will post information about him from Wikipedia.
Photo of Adam John Walsh, late son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh.
November 14, 1974
Hollywood, Florida, United States
July 27, 1981 (aged 6)
Hollywood, Florida, United States
Adam John Walsh (November 14, 1974 – July 27, 1981) was an American boy who was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, on July 27, 1981, and later found murdered and decapitated. Walsh's death earned national publicity. His story was made into the 1983 television film Adam, seen by 38 million people in its original airing. Walsh's father, John Walsh, became an advocate for victims of violent crimes and the host of the television program America's Most Wanted.
Convicted serial killer Ottis Toole confessed to the boy's murder but was never convicted for this specific crime due to loss of evidence and a recanted confession. Toole died of liver failure on September 15, 1996. Although no new evidence has come forth, on December 16, 2008, police announced that the Walsh case was now closed as they were satisfied that Toole was the murderer.
Kidnapping and murder
Revé, Adam Walsh's mother, took Adam shopping with her in a Hollywood, Florida Sears department store on July 27, 1981. She said that she stopped to check out lamps a few aisles away and left Adam at a kiosk with Atari 2600 video games on display. Shortly afterwards, she said that she returned to find that Adam and the other boys had disappeared. A store manager informed her that a scuffle had broken out over whose turn it was at the kiosk and a security guard demanded that the boys leave the store. The security guard asked the older boys if their parents were in the store, and the boys said that they were not. It was later conjectured by Adam's parents that he was too shy to speak to the security officer, who presumed that he was in the company of the other boys, and put him out the same door. Based upon Revé's claim that Adam was in the store with her, it was conjectured that Adam was then left alone near an exit of Sears that was unfamiliar to him.
Adam's severed head was found by two fishermen in a Vero Beach, Florida, canal on August 10, 1981. The rest of his body was not recovered. The coroner ruled that the cause of Adam's death was asphyxiation and that the decapitation had occurred later, perhaps to render his remains unidentifiable or the cause of his death indeterminable.
John Walsh himself was considered by authorities as a prime suspect as the police investigation started to become exhausted. After about a week, he was later absolved of any foul play following a highly emotional press statement that was televised nationally.
Police eventually concluded that Adam was abducted by a drifter named Ottis Toole near the front exterior of the Sears store that afternoon, after being asked to leave by a store clerk. Toole lured Adam into his Cadillac with a damaged right bumper with promises of toys and candy, then proceeded to drive north on Interstate 95 toward his home in Jacksonville. Adam, at first docile and compliant, began to panic as they drove on. Toole punched Walsh in the face, but as this just made the situation worse, he then "walloped him unconscious" and proceeded to choke him to death. He drove to a deserted service road and decapitated Walsh with a machete. Toole later claimed to have disposed of Adam's body by incinerating it in an old refrigerator when he returned to Jacksonville. He drove around with the severed head of Walsh in his car for a few days until remembering it was in there, and then threw it into a canal. He claimed that he wanted to make Walsh his adopted son, but given the close relationship the boy had with loving parents, this was not very feasible. The police investigation of Walsh's abduction was alleged to be unsatisfactory, and they lost the bloodstained carpet from Toole's Cadillac, the machete used to decapitate Walsh, and eventually, the car itself. In any case, DNA testing was in a rudimentary state in the early 1980s and it was not possible then to determine the source of the blood found in the Cadillac.
Toole repeatedly confessed and then retracted accounts of his involvement. Toole, allegedly a confidante of convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, was never charged in the Walsh case, even though he provided seemingly accurate descriptions as to how he committed the crime. Several witnesses also place Toole in the Hollywood area in the days leading up to Walsh's disappearance. Police investigated Toole for the Walsh murder but lost important evidence in the case, including the bloodstained carpet from Toole's Cadillac. In September 1996, Toole died in prison, aged 49, of cirrhosis of the liver while serving a life sentence for other crimes. Afterwards, Toole's niece told John Walsh that her uncle made a deathbed confession to the murder of Adam. Toole's confession was viewed as reliable, since he and Henry Lucas confessed to or implicated themselves in more than 200 different homicides, most of which they accurately described with details only the culprit would know.
In 1997, Hollywood Police Chief Rick Stone conducted an exhaustive review of the Adam Walsh case after the release of John Walsh's book. At the time, Stone was a 22-year veteran of the Dallas, Texas, and Wichita, Kansas, police departments and had been appointed Hollywood's chief of police in the previous year. Although the crime was decades old at the time of Chief Stone's review, he provided an analysis of the evidence, including reviewing taped interrogations of Ottis Toole by Hollywood Police Detective Mark Smith. Stone says his review found evidence to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Toole murdered Adam Walsh. Both Toole and his close friend, convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, were notorious, Stone noted, for confessing to crimes they committed and recanting.
In 2007, allegations earned widespread publicity that Jeffrey Dahmer, arrested in Wisconsin in 1991 after killing more than a dozen men and boys, was also named as a suspect in the Walsh murder. Dahmer was living in Miami Beach at the time Adam was murdered, and two eyewitnesses placed Dahmer at the shopping mall on the day Adam was abducted. One of the witnesses claimed to have seen a strange man walking into the Sears toy department where Adam was abducted. The other said that he saw a young, blond man with a protruding chin throw a struggling child into a blue van and speed off. Both witnesses recognized the man they had seen as Dahmer when pictures of him were released in the newspapers after his arrest. Reports showed that the delivery shop where Dahmer worked had a blue van at the time. Dahmer preyed on young men and boys (the youngest being eight years older than Adam), and his modus operandi included severing his victims' heads. When interviewed about Adam Walsh in the early 1990s, Dahmer repeatedly denied involvement in the crime, even stating; "I've told you everything—how I killed them, how I cooked them, who I ate. Why wouldn't I tell you if I did someone else?" After this rumor surfaced, John Walsh stated that he had "seen no evidence" linking his son's kidnapping and murder to Dahmer.
On December 16, 2008, the Hollywood, Florida, Police Chief Chad Wagner, a friend of John Walsh, announced, with John Walsh present, that the case was now closed. An external review of the case had been conducted and police announced that they were satisfied that Ottis Toole was the murderer.
Adam's kidnapping and murder prompted John Walsh to become an advocate for victims' rights. Adam Walsh's murder was among those that helped to spur the formation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). As a result of his advocacy, he was approached to host the television program America's Most Wanted.
The Code Adam program for helping lost children in department stores is named in Walsh's memory. The U.S. Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act on July 25, 2006, and President Bush signed it into law on July 27, 2006. The signing ceremony took place on the South Lawn of the White House, attended by John and Revé Walsh. The bill institutes a national database of convicted child molesters, and increases penalties for sexual and violent offenses against children. It also creates a RICO cause of action for child predators and those who conspire with them.