See all titles by Les Standiford.
Before Adam Walsh there were no faces on milk cartons, no Amber
Alerts, no National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, no
federal databases of crimes against children, no pedophile registry. His
1981 abduction and murder—unsolved for over a quarter of a
century—forever changed America.
One sunny July morning in 1981,
RevÉ Walsh and her six-year-old son Adam stopped by the local Sears to
pick up some new lamps. Enchanted by a video game at the store's
entrance, Adam begged RevÉ to let him try it out while she shopped. When
she returned a few minutes later, Adam was gone.
The shock of
Adam's murder, and of the inability of the police and the FBI to find
his killer, radically altered American innocence and our ideas about
childhood. Gone forever were the days when parents would allow their
kids out of the house with the casual instruction "Be home by dark!"
RevÉ and John Walsh—who would go on to create America's Most Wanted—became
advocates for the transformation of law enforcement's response to and
handling of such cases. Prompted by the Walshes' activism, Congress
passed the Missing Children Act in 1982, and the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children was founded in 1984.
lives have been significantly altered by Adam Walsh's case, few of us
know the whole story—how, after more than twenty-seven years of
relentless investigation, decorated Miami Beach homicide detective Joe
Matthews finally identified Adam's killer.
Bringing Adam Home
is the definitive account of this horrifying crime—which, like the
Lindbergh kidnapping fifty years earlier, captured public attention—and
its aftermath, a true story of tragedy, love, faith, and dedication. It
reveals the pain and tenacity of a family determined to find justice,
the failed police work that allowed a killer to remain uncharged, and
the determined efforts of one cop who accomplished what an entire legal
system could not. As harrowing as In Cold Blood, yet ultimately uplifting, Bringing Adam Home is the riveting story of a triumph of justice and the enduring power of love.