Adam John Walsh, age 6, is abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Florida, and later found murdered. In the aftermath of the crime, Adam’s father, John Walsh, became a leading victims’ rights activist and host of the long-running television show America’s Most Wanted.
Early in the afternoon on July 27, Adam entered a Sears department store with his mother, Reve. She allowed him to watch a group of older boys play video games in the toy department while she shopped nearby. When she returned for him less than 10 minutes later, he was gone. Investigators learned a teenage security guard had asked the older children to leave because they were causing trouble. Adam, reportedly a timid child who might have been afraid to speak up, followed one of the older boys out and didn’t tell the guard his mother was in the store. He was likely kidnapped outside the store after the other child left. Adam’s parents launched a massive hunt for their son; however, on August 10, 1981, his severed head was discovered by two fishermen in a drainage canal in Vero Beach, Florida, some 100 miles from Hollywood. His body was never found.
In October 1983, career criminal Ottis Ellwood Toole, then an inmate at a Raiford, Florida, prison, confessed to Adam’s abduction and murder and also implicated serial killer Henry Lee Lucas in the crime. However, investigators soon discovered that Lucas couldn’t have been involved because he was in jail in Virginia when Adam was kidnapped. Toole then admitted he had carried out the crime on his own and police announced they had found Adam’s killer. However, investigators were unable to locate Adam’s body where Toole claimed to have buried it and without any physical evidence the Florida state attorney couldn’t prosecute the case. Several months later, Toole recanted his confession. In the years that followed, Toole repeatedly confessed to killing Adam Walsh and then took back his story. He died of cirrhosis of the liver and AIDS in 1996 in a Florida prison, where he was on Death Row for another murder. Years later, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was living in Florida at the time of Adam’s abduction, was considered a possible suspect in the case. Dahmer died in a Wisconsin prison in 1994. On December 16, 2008, the police department in Hollywood, Florida, announced that the case against Toole was strong enough to close the investigation into Adam’s death.
John Walsh channeled his grief into advocacy work for crime victims. He was a founder in 1984 of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and in 1988 he became host of America’s Most Wanted, a show that has since helped law enforcement officials track down hundreds of fugitives. On July 27, 2006, 25 years after Adam went missing, then-President George W. Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act into law, which created a national database of convicted child sex offenders, strengthened federal penalties for crimes against children and provided funding and training for law enforcement to fight crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children via the Internet.
The Notorious Case of Adam Walsh: Did Police Get the Wrong Killer and Even the Wrong Victim?
July 27, 2016, was the 35 th anniversary of the day that Adam Walsh disappeared from the video games in a shopping mall Sears store in Hollywood, Florida. An awful lot has changed since then. Video games, for one. Sears is no longer in that mall. But one thing in all that time hasn’t changed:
No one has ever been charged with or brought to trial for the horrific murder of Adam Walsh.
And no one ever will. And now we know one of the very good reasons why not:
The official Adam Walsh case investigation was kept under wraps for its first 27 years, while police said they still had hopes of one day closing it by arrest. But after they finally gave up, among the things that true crime author Arthur Jay Harris found in his close examination of public records was the absence of all the proper ID records in the medical examiner’s case file.
Two weeks after Adam Walsh disappeared, a child’s severed head was found in water. The remains were quickly identified as Adam strictly by a comparison of teeth -- including the remains to Adam’s dental records. So you’d expect that for a possible upcoming homicide trial, the medical examiner would have saved those dental records…
. And the report of the autopsy that was done just after, and the photos from it, and the forensic dental consultation report that normally would be done, to include an expert comparison of Adam’s dental X-rays with the found child. all the usual stuff.
But you’d be wrong on all counts. And for reasons never explained by the medical examiner or the police or state attorney, who also don’t have those documents. At a homicide trial, the state would have been handicapped without those records or their chain of custody. They would have had difficulty -- dare say it would have been impossible for them to have established the primary element at a trial:
That the defendant had killed the victim Adam Walsh because that’s clearly Adam Walsh who is dead.
Why is this murder case different from all other murder cases? There’s never an issue at trial as to the identity of a victim.
As it turns out, the dental match was based on just a single filling in a lower molar where children commonly get cavities. And it may not have even been the same molar. But didn’t Adam’s parents make their own visual ID? No, they weren’t present.
Perhaps, as shown below, it’s because there really is a question that the child they so long ago said was Adam -- was really him.
On a July summer weekday, six-year-old Adam Walsh’s mom took him to Sears at the mall to buy a brass lamp advertised on sale in Good Housekeeping magazine. Entering the store, he wanted to play at the display of video games -- it was 1981, and they were new. Other kids were there, so Mrs. Walsh let him stay. She said she’d be back in minutes.
The lamp wasn't in stock. And she never saw her son again.
On an early evening two weeks later, 125 miles north by the edge of the Florida Turnpike near groves that produce the state’s famous oranges and grapefruits, two men who’d just launched their boat into a drainage canal saw floating on the surface what at first looked like a doll. Then to their horror they realized it was a child’s severed head. The next morning, the local medical examiner identified the child as Adam Walsh.
What kind of person would grab a small child, behead him, and leave the head by the road?
It was a hard question for police to solve, especially while its community was terrified that any other child could be next. The town was Hollywood, Florida, which relied on winter tourism, and could not afford that kind of reputation.
How did Adam Walsh get abducted?
In September 1996, he died in prison, aged 49, of cirrhosis while serving a life sentence for other crimes. Afterwards, his niece told John that he made a deathbed confession to Adam's murder. Stone says his review found evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Toole murdered Adam.
Also Know, how old is Reve Walsh? On July 27, 1981, six-year-old Adam Walsh went to a Sears store in a mall in Hollywood, Florida, with his mother, Reve Walsh. When Reve went to the lighting section, she allowed him to play video games in the toy department a few aisles away. By the time she got back, he was gone.
Accordingly, what did John Walsh do before kidnapping Adam?
Before Adam Walsh's kidnapping and death, there was no national database on missing children. So John Walsh and his wife Reve pushed Congress to pass the Missing Children Act, which led to the creation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Is Callahan Walsh related to John Walsh?
Family. After the murder of Adam, the Walshes had three more children: Meghan (born 1982), Callahan (born 1985), and Hayden (born 1994). Callahan is now filming with his father on In Pursuit With John Walsh.
Breaking Boyhood:The Abduction and Abuse of Bizzy Bone
Between his September 1976 birth in Columbus, Ohio — two hours from Cleveland, Ohio — and meeting Layzie and Krayzie in high school in 1989, Bryon Anthony “Bizzy Bone” McCane II would experience enough struggle and crime for a lifetime. When the full scope of his childhood was illuminated circa 2002, the wild and unpredictable nature of Bizzy became understandable.
Adam Walsh — six-year old son of John Walsh — was kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida on July 27th, 1981. Fourteen days later, his severed head was the only body part to be discovered. Following the crime, Walsh and his family founded the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to legislative reform, and eventually merged with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), where Walsh still serves on the Board of Directors.
The Walsh family organized a political campaign to help missing and exploited children, which eventually led to the creation of the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984.
The four-time Emmy nominated made-for-TV movie Adam was seen by over thirty-eight million people in October 1983. It was rebroadcast in April 1984, and again in April 1985. At the end of each broadcast, a series of missing children’s photographs were displayed for viewers, and a phone number was provided if a viewer had information about them.
One of these photographs was a young Bizzy Bone.
When McCane II was only four years old, his then-stepfather Bryon McCane — former Pittsburgh Steelers fullback and on the all-time NFL Huskers list for the Ohio Valley Ironmen — kidnapped Bizzy and his two older sisters, Hope and Heather. Both were daughters of McCane. Told that his mother Roseanne Jefferson and grandmother were dead, Bizzy was unaware he had been kidnapped and displaced.
“He was more or less working the system. He used to play with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then he went on to play for the Columbus Bucks. He went to college in Nebraska. He was a very intelligent man. That’s how we went from state to state so long without getting caught.” — Bizzy
For nearly two years, Bizzy and his sisters were forced from shelter to shelter, apartment to apartment, car to car and motel to motel — all while local agencies and eventually the FBI were searching for them.
As the new “family” had taken refuge on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma, the birth-mother tirelessly worked with businessman-turned-child activist Walsh in pursuit of Bizzy.
Prior to being rescued, Bizzy was molested by the son of a friend of Byron. Too young to understand the atrocity of the act, he kept it to himself for years. A reservation neighbor and babysitter for Bizzy alerted the FBI after she viewed Adam and at seven years old, Bizzy was discovered and reunited with his mother.
“When we were in school, they called me and my sisters down and were interrogating us, asking us our last names. I ain’t never been a snitch, even as a baby, so I kept telling them the fake name, ‘Jones, Jones, Jones.’ And eventually my sister broke it like, ‘You can tell.’ ” — Bizzy
Despite the reunion with his mother, his childhood struggles were yet to be over. After the reunion, Bizzy became the new stepson to his mother’s new husband — another abusive stepfather with no regard for the scars he would create on the mind and body of Bizzy. His mother could stand no more and left the new husband and their life behind Bizzy was placed in the foster home of Beulah Smith.
Despite the love and attention from Smith, at age thirteen he chose the inner-city area of Cleveland, Ohio and reunited with his sisters. He quickly began to sell drugs and involve himself in criminal activities and street life, ignoring his conscience.
“I was born in Columbus. I’m a foster kid. I’m one of them motherfuckers that got shipped around. That’s just how my childhood was. Maybe one day I’ll write a book about it. I became a father at fourteen years old. I became a father even before I became a man. It seemed like everywhere I turned there was another obstacle. So I figured that as long as I can drive straight and not make any turns, then I don’t have to worry about anything. Beautiful kids run up on me by the bunches and just scream my name. It makes me feel so good. But I feel in my heart that I’m not worth it. I feel so humbled. When the kids run up on me, they say, ‘We thought you were dead.’ They are happy to see that I am alive.” — Bizzy
To date, Bizzy has claimed ten children from four mothers, although the official number has varied over time. On “Hip Hop Baby” from the first Bone Brothers album in February 2005, Bizzy rapped:
“And my babies / that Jodeci six / with Sabrina / little Bree / Beau Briamous / Moe and Shanika / little Tray-Tray / Destiny / and plus Aaliyah / and the newest one is Shelby / I can’t wait ‘til I see her / the other music in my physical form / since they was born / I be singin’ with tears in my eyes / as I perform / for the whole world / until I die like Confucius / tell the world / my name is Bryon”
At fifteen years old, Bizzy met Layzie, Krayzie and Wish and noticed their mutual appreciation for making music. Despite a young life filled with strife and struggle, Bizzy would no longer be victim to the machinations of another adult.
He would not speak publicly about the abuse until his May 2002 appearance on America’s Most Wanted. The show, which premiered in February 1988, featured John Walsh as Narrator and Executive Producer and was the longest-running program in the history of Fox Television Network until the series cancellation in June 2011.
His solo debut Heaven’z Movie contained the song “Nobody Can Stop Me”:
“Trippin’ on foster homes / sayin’ I wasn’t manly / with a scarred-up soul / where I keep my skeletons — understand me / what if I said I was molested? / would you look at me pale / but I keep on bailin’ / and I hope I don’t go to Hell / stressed I will / can I sell my bio? / I was born in Ohio / already on trial / ‘cause Pops said I looked too light / but mom’s just white / but I still had your smile / and look at me now / gotta be proud of myself”
His Crossroads: 2010 album track “Gangsta Music” contained lyrics directed at Ocean Township, New Jersey-born media personality Wendy Williams:
“Everyone think I’m crazy / everyone think I’m drunk / I told the world I was molested / and they called me punk”
“Wendy Williams / you need to kill the noise / you made your name up off of gossip / and laughed ‘cause I was touched as a boy?”
Bizzy established Operation Lighthouse through Only One Media Group in 2011 he frequently contributes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project: Clean Up Ohio and other non-profit ventures.
In June 2003, Adrian Parlette — the aforementioned foster brother, business partner and best friend to Bizzy — was shot three times and murdered in his Columbus, Ohio home. Bizzy had previously featured Parlette on both Heaven’z Movie and Alpha and Omega.
Parlette was twenty-three years old his murder remains unsolved.
“I blame myself, because if I wasn’t blackballed in the industry, I could have had him out there working. I could have had him out there singing his heart out, doing what he does best. But we are real people and what we rap about and sing about is not fake. If we are not doing this, there is a good chance that we may wind up dead. That is just the truth. We are real. We are real street poets with terrible stories. No mothers, no fathers, foster homes, beat on, touched on, those types of stories. So we lost him and he is watching over us.” — Bizzy
Despite the individual hardships and accomplishments Bizzy achieved since emerging into the national spotlight, he would not officially rejoin Bone Thugs until 2010.
“This is how I maintain — because everybody has a story, and there is always somebody out there who has had it worse than you: ‘Pick your shit up, kiss your children and go get some fucking money, Bryon!’ ” — Bizzy
John Walsh’s son Callahan explains how his brother Adam's murder made him determined to catch ‘bad guys’
John Walsh's son Callahan reflects on brother Adam's murder, capturing fugitives while filming 'In Pursuit'
John Walsh's son Callahan Walsh reflects on late brother Adam Walsh's murder, capturing fugitives while filming Investigation Discovery's (ID) 'In Pursuit with John Walsh.'
EXCLUSIVE: Callahan Walsh is determined to help families in need after his parents endured their own personal tragedy.
In 1981, his brother Adam Walsh was abducted from a Hollywood, Fla. shopping mall. The 6-year-old’s head was discovered two weeks later. His other remains were never found.
The horrific murder compelled patriarch John Walsh to become a victim’s rights advocate. He instituted the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. He also co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
This undated file photo shows six-year-old Adam Walsh of Hollywood, Fla who was murdered in 1981. (AP)
Then in 1988, the now-75-year-old launched a TV show titled "America’s Most Wanted," where viewers were told about crimes in the hopes of leading to an arrest. The series, which aired for 25 seasons before its cancellation in 2011, helped capture more than 1,100 criminals - including 17 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. It also aided in reuniting 43 missing children with their families.
"I grew up in a family that celebrated Adam’s life," Walsh, 36, told Fox News. "I knew his favorite sports and movies. We celebrated his birthday. But at the same time, I watched my parents channel their anger over what happened to Adam, to make sure that Adam didn’t die in vain. They co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a place where I work today. It’s sort of my day job. It’s an organization that’s helped recover over 350,000 missing children."
"I grew up with my parents saying that if Adam’s song is to continue, then we must do the singing," Walsh shared. "And I’m trying to do that every day as a child advocate. I want to help get families the justice they deserve."
John Walsh is still celebrated today as a victim's rights advocate. (Getty)
After "America’s Most Wanted" was canceled, it was briefly picked up by Lifetime. The series is now being revived with Elizabeth Vargas as its new host. John released a statement in January stating that capturing criminals and finding missing children was his life’s work and he was excited about and in support of the show’s revival.
From 2019 until 2020, he served as executive producer for "In Pursuit with John Walsh." In August 2020, James Meese, who was convicted of raping two Michigan children, was arrested by federal agents in California where he had been hiding out. The 71-year-old’s arrest came months after the show profiled his case in March.
As for Walsh, he’s hosting his own streaming special on discovery+ titled "In Pursuit: The Missing," where he actively investigates two mysterious disappearances while showcasing additional unsolved missing person cases from across the country.
In the series, Walsh traveled to Cape Coral, Fla. to learn about Lauren Dumolo, a 29-year-old single mother who was last seen at her apartment on June 20, 2020.
He also traveled to Fort Lauderdale to further investigate the 2017 missing person case of Sophie Reeder, a 15-year-old who snuck out from her father’s home. During his exploration, Walsh focused on the dark web and the ongoing epidemic of human trafficking.
"These two cases have a lot of mystery surrounding them," Walsh explained. "Their families are desperate for answers, desperate to see their loved ones again. And we’re hoping that by providing the information to the public, harnessing the power of the public, we can provide answers to these families. Somebody out there holds the key that can unlock the door to justice in these cases. And we’re looking for those keys."
"It’s so tragic for anybody that’s dealing with a missing person case," he continued. "You don’t know the whereabouts of your loved one. You don’t even know if they’re OK. You don’t know if they’re safe. It’s the worst thing that a family can go through. I can empathize with these families. But I also know it takes the public’s help to crack these cases. The public’s help can keep these investigations going."
Walsh is aware that when it comes to missing cases, families can lose hope with the passing of time. But speaking from personal experience, he has a message for them.
"We say to families, never give up hope," he said. "Keep beating that drum. Law enforcement has other cases that start mounting up. Other crimes occur. The media has other stories that they need to tell as well. But be the advocate. Be the voice for that missing loved one because they no longer have a voice. Keep that hope alive."
Callahan Walsh (left) with his father John Walsh. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
"You know at the center, we work on thousands of cases at any one time," he shared. "And we never stop searching for any of the missing children that are reported to the organization. We never give up hope because we know the families will never give up hope. And we’ve seen way too many long-term recoveries, like the Cleveland girls, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, to ever give up hope on any of our missing cases."
Walsh pointed out that runaway cases can often be overlooked by the press because someone may have seemingly left home on their own. However, he said many young runaways end up in the open arms of child predators.
"The majority of children that are reported missing to the center are runaway children, many who don’t have a support system or individuals looking out for them," he said. "It’s an unfortunate scenario. But then we also see a lot of grooming and luring cases where a child is groomed, lured and manipulated from the home, which may have been the case for Sophie Reeder."
John Walsh instituted the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center and co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. (Photo by Thomas S. England/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Walsh said there are two people who are especially proud of his work - his mother and father.
"My father has big shoes to fill," he reflected. "I’m just honored to continue both of their legacies, hunt down bad guys and find missing people with the public’s help. And my father is really my role model. I watched him go out and capture bad guys year and year while being an advocate to children in need. I’m privileged to say that I have a great father. And I’m trying to do the best I can to fill in those shoes."
"In Pursuit: The Missing" is currently available for streaming on discovery+. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
‘America’s Most Wanted’ Host John Walsh Reveals A Disturbing New Detail About His Son’s Gruesome Murder
In 1981, John Walsh was just a hotel marketing executive, but that all changed when his wife, Reve, and son, Adam, visited the Hollywood Mall in Florida. Reve left six-year old Adam in the toy section of the Sears department store, the young boy content with pounding his fingers away on the video game systems on display. When she returned from a minutes-long shopping excursion, Adam was gone. Two weeks later, his severed head was found in a canal, the rest of his body never to be found.
Without hard evidence, several theories and suspects floated around the Hollywood, Florida police department. One probability occurred in 1991, when a serial killer was arrested in Wisconsin with 17 murders to his credit. After his picture was posted in newspapers, several people contacted the authorities claiming they had seen that man at the Hollywood Mall around the time of of Adam Walsh’s disappearance. That man was Jeffrey Dahmer. He had been working only several minutes away from the mall when Adam was taken.
FBI agent Neil Purtell interviewed Dahmer about Adam’s case, the killer denying any connection at all to the crime. “You know, Neil,” said Dahmer, “anyone who killed Adam Walsh could not live in any prison, ever.” Agent Purtell took that as an admission of guilt.
Police had one other suspect though, and that was Ottis Toole. Toole was already in prison by 1983 — for murder — when he admitted to cutting the child’s head off with a machete. He would later deny the confession on tape, but in 1991 Toole admitted to the murder once again. Detectives found blood in his vehicle, but DNA tests could not prove if it was Adam’s. Then, once again, Toole denied having killed Adam.
Witnesses at the mall that day corroborated Toole’s confession, saying they saw him at the mall, one witness saying he even saw him talking to Adam. In September of 1996, Toole’s travel companion and fellow serial killer Henry Lee Lucas — he claimed the two committed over 200 murders together — admitted to police that Toole had shown him Adam’s body. This confession, though, occurred just days after Toole had died in prison from cirrhosis.
In 2008, after 27 years, police finally closed the case of Adam Walsh, claiming they had enough evidence to pin the murder on Toole. “If Ottis Toole were alive today, he would be arrested for the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh,” Hollywood police chief Chadwick Wagner stated. “What was there was everything that was in front of our face for years. This case could have been closed years ago.”
Several weeks ago, at an event hosted by Starz, John Walsh came forward with a heartbreaking detail about his murdered child following the tragic discovery of his remains.
People don’t know this, but [police] kept Adam’s severed head in the morgue for 27 years, saying you can’t bury your child because it’s an open capital murder. We could never get Adam’s remains while the case was botched.
In 1984 — in memory of his son — John Walsh started the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, and helped start the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. America’s Most Wanted debuted in 1988, and his efforts, combined with police resources, rescued over 130,000 children while putting more than 1,000 criminals behind bars.
Now check out…
Back Off Man, These Are Peter Venkman’s Top ‘Ghostbusters’ Quotes
Whether you like or don’t like Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot, you have to admit that it’s going to feel weird to see Bustin’ going on without the presence of Dr. Peter Venkman. Thankfully, however, we’ll always have the first two films (back off, man, I’m classifying Ghostbusters 2 as a good thing) to remind us of Murray’s dominance in what may be his greatest role. So, with that in mind, here are Peter Venkman’s best quotes from the first film.
“I don’t know. I don’t know.”
As Ray freaks out about the gang’s dimming career prospects in light of getting canned from the university, Pete has a crazy, “let’s join the circus” kinda look on his face that is only enhanced when he takes slugs off of a bottle of bad idea juice. Where’s the money coming from? He doesn’t know, but he has faith in a robust return on the adventure they’re about to throw themselves into.
“You’re not gonna lose the house, everybody has three mortgages nowadays.”
Pretty sure that this was the corporate slogan for some of the banks prior to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. #TopicalHumor
“Back off man, I’m a scientist.”
You can insert any job title in there. Feel free to try it next time someone gets up in your jam.
“Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.”
It’s not the sarcasm, it’s Bill Murray’s ever-so-slight palpable physical discomfort when Ray’s proton pack gets switched on — first shifting to the wall, then towards the door of the elevator so he can get the hell off. You imagine that that isn’t the kind of thing that’s in the script.
“He slimed me.”
All the kids love the “slimed” line, but I’m preferable to the field report that Pete files while on his back like a turtle with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator for a shell: “I feel so funky.”
“Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.”
The highlight of this clip is really Egon’s dead-serious recitation of the risks involved with crossing the streams — a perfect contrast to Murray’s smart ass response and a moment that, of course, pays off later on.
“The flowers are still standing!”
If you haven’t done this, you sure as sh*t have daydreamed about doing it.
“We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!”
Nothing wrong with a little bit of self-promotional boasting after the work is done. This is a time before Yelp and the internet, good on Pete Venkman for trying to generate some good word of mouth.
“That’s the bedroom, but nothing ever happened in there” – Dana Barrett
“What a crime” – Peter Venkman
Murray’s funniest lines with Sigourney Weaver came when she was levitating a few feet off of her bed, but this one is kind of prime ‘Game Show Host” Venkman and it represents the unofficial/official start of their courtship.
Also, best decision from Ghostbusters 2 besides hiring Peter MacNicol to play Janosz? Not making Oscar into Pete Venkman’s bastard child. I can believe that Pete and Dana had a falling out after a few months of passion and maybe some light gatekeeper/keymaster role play (no judgements) when things started to get a little boring — he’s a man-child whose every action screams out “commitment issues” — but it would have been impossible to think of Peter Venkman, Bill Murray, as an absentee father. After all, he’s the spiritual father to a generation of man-children like myself, and he’s always been there for us.
I’m cheating because this isn’t a quote.
This video is titled, “Peter Venkman Walking Like A Dumb” and it features Peter Venkman dancing around Lincoln Center to entertain himself in the way that a child would while Dana looks on and gets slowly seduced by his unguarded and free-spirited attitude.
It’s also dubbed in Italian and soon becomes a loop of Peter Venkman dancing… “like a dumb” while Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” theme plays in the background in English. I’m sure there are other videos that would have shown you this scene, but I don’t care. This is perfect… even though there’s no spin at the end. By the way, there are a bunch of videos on YouTube of people recreating the spin. I would have shown them to you, but none were in Italian.
“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”
Most popular line? Most popular line. Peter Venkman’s never not joking, even when he’s trying to stoke the Mayor’s sense of urgency and save his own ass/all the asses that exist in the five boroughs.
“Goodbye… I’m gonna get you a nice fruit basket. I’m gonna miss him”
Best line? Maybe the best line thanks to Murray’s inflection and the preceding jubilant smile when the Mayor chooses the Ghostbusters over the council of Walter Peck.
“Let’s show this prehistoric b*tch how we do things downtown… THROW IT!”
Really debated whether to go with this quote or the response after Gozer proves herself to be a “Nimble little minx,” but there’s just so much fun bravado here that it eventually won out.
“Well there’s something you don’t see every day”
Peter Venkman kinda captures the sight of something unspeakable — a 100-foot tall walking marshmallow man — with the perfect collection of somewhat matter-of-fact words.
“I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! Let’s do it!”
This is more known as the moment when Egon advised the guys that they should, in fact, cross their streams, but this line from Venkman kinda proves his heroism. Pete has jokes for every situation, but he also stands in even though death is almost certain.
John Walsh: From ‘America’s Most Wanted’ to solving his son’s murder
Even if you’ve never seen an episode of the series, you’ve probably at least heard of America’s Most Wanted . The series lasted from 1988 to 2012, going through revivals and network changes, putting the faces of the Most Wanted criminals in the country out there. Originally, it was presented by John Walsh, who would later go on to make his own TV series, In Pursuit with John Walsh .
John Walsh, however, remains at the center of his own heartbreaking mystery, which sent him down the path to advocate for victims of violent crimes and use television to help keep the public informed. With a revival of America’s Most Wanted with new host Elizabeth Vargas airing on Fox, let’s revisit the tragic murder case of John Walsh’s son, Adam.
Disappearance & murder
Six-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted from a Sears department store in Hollywood, Florida on July 27, 1981. Adam’s mother left him with a group of boys who were playing display video games for the Atari system in order to buy a lamp. When she returned, however, Adam was gone. While she was away, however, a security guard told the boys to leave if they weren’t here with a parent.
Adam, who was shy, did not tell the guard that he was in the store with his mother. So he was ushered out from a different entrance then the one he came in. So Adam was left, alone, by an entrance that he was unfamiliar with. In the store, his mother searched for him, with pages for Adam echoing throughout the store. After 90 minutes, the police were called and he was reported missing.
On August 10, mere weeks after going missing, Adam’s severed head was found in a drainage ditch on the Florida Turnpike near Vero Beach, which is almost 130 miles from Hollywood. Adam Walsh, son of John & Reve Walsh, died of asphyxiation, several days before the discovery of his head. The rest of his body, tragically, was never recovered.
Who did it?
John Walsh and his wife both personally believe that their son’s investigations were botched by the Hollywood police department. In the investigation, police found Ottis Toole, an American serial killer & drifter, was at the entrance where Adam was ejected with the boys from the Sears. Toole would confess to kidnapping & murdering Adam Walsh.
According to Toole, he lured Adam to the car with promises of toys & candy. While Adam was allegedly docile at first, he began to panic as time went on. This led Toole to beating him unconscious. He then went to dump the body on the Florida Turnpike, but realized that Adam was still breathing. So he strangled him to death with a seatbelt and then decapitated Adam.
Toole claimed that he disposed of Adam Walsh’s body in a refrigerator near Jacksonville, which he then incinerated. He said that his motive for the kidnapping was to make Adam his adopted son, but given his close relationship with his parents John and Reve Walsh. They found blood evidence in the car along with a machete apparently used to decapitate Walsh.
Ottis Toole, much like fellow serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, confessed to a lot more crimes then what he was convicted for. Toole would later recant his confession about the murder of Adam Walsh and died of cihorris in 1996. Police and the Walsh family, however, believe that Ottis Toole was the one to have killed Adam Walsh. The case was officially closed in 2008.
John and Reve Walsh became advocates for missing children. They helped bring about the founding of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A television film about their son aired in 1983, 1984, and 1985, each time showing different pictures of missing kids, which led to 13 of the 55 featured children being found.
Partner: Bec Heim When not talking and writing about pop culture (especially superheroes or any show with a paranormal bent), freelance writer Bec Heim is usually tackling her mountain of books, writing scripts or stories, or listening to podcasts.
Adam Walsh Murder Case
John Walsh lost his six-year-old son Adam to a brutal murder in the summer of 1981 in Hollywood, Florida. The shock and devastation of that experience culminated in Walsh creating and hosting the wildly popular television program America’s Most Wanted, beginning in 1988. Willis Morgan was an eyewitness at the mall the day six-year old Adam Walsh was taken, but rather than feel relieved when the Hollywood Police Department convicted suspect and serial killer Ottis Toole in 2008, he felt sick and frustrated that eyewitness testimony of Jeffrey Dahmer being at the Hollywood Mall the same day was disregarded. Morgan joined Dave Schrader (email) to discuss the compelling evidence that it was Dahmer, the Milwaukee Cannibal, who killed Adam, and not Toole. Other eyewitnesses shared their testimony that agrees with Morgan's.
What is undisputed is that Adam Walsh was at the Hollywood Mall with his mother on July 27, 1981. She left him alone for a few minutes and he disappeared. Sixteen days later, his severed head was found in a drainage canal some 120 miles away. Morgan was in the mall that day and says he talked to the suspect, who he has positively identified as Dahmer. He recalled a "bizarre encounter with a person who tried to start a conversation with me" and "who was very dangerous and very strange" and who appeared "disheveled and reeked of beer." Willis extricated himself from the encounter, but followed the man as far as the Sears store, and lost him in the toy department. Later, when mugshots of Dahmer were released after his 1991 arrest in Milwaukee, Willis was sure that it was the strange man he had encountered in 1981.
Other witnesses emerged who saw a mugshot of Dahmer that was taken in 1981 when the abduction occurred and were certain that he was the suspect they had seen in the mall. Morgan contacted them to obtain statements, and three appeared on the program to corroborate the identification. First, Mia Taylor recalled a strange and frightening man who "had a weird look on his face and smelled like alcohol" tried to talk to her 10-year-old brother in the Sears store. Ginger Keaton and her son Terry (who was 10 at the time) recalled a strange man who Terry said was "looking at him funny" and scared him so badly that he ran to another adult for help. Ginger is now "100% sure on my heart, my soul and my God it was Dahmer."
Before Megan's Law - The Jacob Wetterling Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act
On October 22, 1989, 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling bicycled with his brother Trevor, 10, and friend Aaron 11, to their Minnesota home from a convenience store where they had rented a video. Their ride home was interrupted by a masked man who stepped out of a driveway with a gun and ordered the children to throw their bikes into a ditch and lie face down on the ground. After asking the boys their ages he told Jacob’s brother and friend to run into the woods and not look back or he would shoot them. No arrest has ever been made and Jacob has never been found. Investigators later learned that, unbeknownst to local law enforcement, sex offenders were being sent to live in halfway houses nearby.
In February of 1990, four months after Jacob’s disappearance, the Jacob Wetterling Foundation was established by Jacob’s parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling. Patty was appointed to a Minnesota governor’s task force to make recommendations on sex offender registration. After successfully establishing sex offender registration in Minnesota, Patty and Jerry Wetterling went on to lobby for federal legislation to require all 50 states to register resident sex offenders.
The Wetterlings were not alone in their effort to lobby for a uniform federal law to mandate sex offender registration and some form of public notification. A hearing to discuss the revolving door of justice was called on March 1, 1994 by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice. The hearing was called to discuss the revolving door of justice in the U.S. and new approaches to recidivism. There were five panels called together – one included victims and their families.
Testimony was given by Marc Klaas Peggy, Gene and Jennifer Schmidt Susan Sweetser, a Vermont State Senator and rape survivor and Dick and Diane Adams, whose son, a store clerk, was killed during an armed robbery. Testimony at that hearing urged the passage of federal legislation to register and notify communities of the presence of sex offenders.
Marc Klaas is the father of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, who was kidnapped by a career criminal at knife point from her bedroom slumber party and was later found murdered. Marc founded Klaas Kids Foundation a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization that has been instrumental in working for nationwide and international laws to stop crimes against children. Marc Klaas also founded Beyond Missing, to provide law enforcement agencies with a secure, Internet based system to create and distribute missing child flyers to law enforcement, the media, and public and private recipients.
Gene, Peggy and Jennifer Schmidt from Kansas are the father, mother and sister, respectively, of 19-year-old college student Stephanie Schmidt, who was brutally raped and murdered by a coworker whom she was not aware was a known convicted sex offender. The Schmidt family founded Speak Out For Stephanie (SOS), The Stephanie Schmidt Foundation a not-for-profit organization dedicated to changing laws and promoting public safety and awareness about sex offenders. The Schmidt family is best known for their efforts in successfully advocating for nationwide laws that confine sexual predators indefinitely. These laws are referred to as Sexual Predator Commitment Laws or Sexual Predator Civil Confinement Laws. Nine months after Stephanie’s death, the Stephanie Schmidt Sexual Predator Act – empowering a state civil commitment procedure – became a retroactive law for all Kansas sex offenders. Although originating in Washington State, the Kansas statute reached the U.S. Supreme Court where it was ruled constitutional in 1997.
Patty Wetterling and these advocates worked tirelessly toward the passage of the Jacob Wetterling Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act and it was included in the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 . The Wetterling Act was signed into law on September 13, 1994 and required all 50 states to establish effective registration programs for convicted child molesters and other sexually violent offenders.
The Wetterling Act also required the states to establish more stringent registration standards for a subclass of offenders considered the most dangerous, designated under law as “ sexually violent predators.” States that failed to comply with the minimum standards risked a 10% reduction of formula grant funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program. This is federal funding allocated to states for improving functioning of the criminal justice system with an emphasis on violent crime and serious offenders.
The Wetterling Act also gave states the discretion to decide whether to release sex offender registration information to the public but did not make it a requirement. The following is an excerpt pertaining to the release of sex offender information from The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act:
(d) Release of Information
The designated state law enforcement agency and any local law enforcement agency authorized by the state agency may release
relevant information that is necessary to protect the public concerning a specific person required to register under this section…
The carefully crafted joining of the two words may and release gave states the discretion to decide whether to release relevant information to protect the public. Conversely, it also gave permission for law enforcement not to release information to the public even if the sex offender was determined to pose a high risk to public safety.
The Wetterling Act is best known for establishing uniform federal minimal standards for registration of convicted sex offenders in all 50 states, DC and the United States territories. As discretionary in nature as it was, for the first time in the history of the United States, it gave all states the discretion to release relevant information to the public about convicted sex offenders who posed a risk to public safety.
Police confirm ID of Walsh son's killer
1 of 5 John Walsh and his wife, Reve, along their daughter, Meghan, left, listen as the Hollywood Police Department announces the conclusion of the investigation in to the death of their son, Adam, who was abducted and killed in 1981, during a news conference in Hollywood, Fla. Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008. (AP Photo) AP Show More Show Less
2 of 5 ** FILE ** This undated file photo shows six year-old Adam Walsh of Hollywood, Fla who was murdered in 1981. Authorities in South Florida say they've finally solved the 1981 killing of the boy whose father, John Walsh, later gained fame as the host of television's "America's Most Wanted." Hollywood police said Tuesday Dec. 16, 2008 that a man long considered the lead suspect in Adam's murder has finally been conclusively linked to the crime. The accused, a serial killer named Ottis Toole, died in prison more than a decade ago. (AP Photo/File) ** NO SALES ** AP Show More Show Less
4 of 5 ** FILE **Ottis Toole, 36, shown in this undated photo, confessed to police that he killed 6-year old Adam Walsh in 1981 after kidnapping him from a shopping mall in Hollywood, Fla. The Hollywood Police Department officially closed the case Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, determining that Toole did actually kill Adam Walsh. (AP Photo, File) AP Show More Show Less
A serial killer who died more than a decade ago is the person who decapitated the 6-year-old son of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh in 1981, police in Florida said Tuesday.
The announcement brought to a close a case that has vexed the Walsh family for more than two decades, launched the television show about the nation's most notorious criminals and inspired changes in how authorities search for missing children.
"Who could take a 6-year-old and murder and decapitate him? Who?" an emotional John Walsh said at Tuesday's news conference. "We needed to know. We needed to know. And today we know. The not knowing has been a torture, but that journey's over."
Police named Ottis Toole, saying that he was long the prime suspect in the case and that they had conclusively linked him to the killing. They declined to be specific about their evidence and did not note any DNA proof of the crime, but said an extensive review of the case file pointed only to Toole, as Walsh long contended.
"Our agency has devoted an inordinate amount of time seeking leads to other potential perpetrators rather than emphasizing Ottis Toole as our primary suspect," said Hollywood Police Chief Chadwick Wagner, who launched a fresh review of the case after taking over the department last year. "Ottis Toole has continued to be our only real suspect."
Toole had twice confessed to killing the child, but later recanted. Toole's niece told the boy's father, John Walsh, her uncle confessed on his deathbed in prison that he killed Adam.
Wagner acknowledged numerous missteps in the investigation and apologized to the Walshes.
"I have no doubt," Walsh said. "I've never had any doubt."
Many names have been mentioned in connection to the case in the years since the killing, but Toole's has persistently nagged detectives. Walsh has long said he believed the drifter was responsible, saying investigators found at Toole's home in Jacksonville a pair of green shorts and a sandal similar to what Adam was wearing.
Toole died in prison of cirrhosis in 1996 at the age of 49. He was serving five life sentences for murders unrelated to Adam's death.
Questions about the Adam Walsh case
The recent episode of the podcast True Crime Garage raised questions about the case of the kidnapping and murder victim Adam Walsh, son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh. I wanted to post these points here and read the responses of the community.
Six year old Adam Walsh disappeared from a Sears Department store in 1981 in Hollywood Florida. 16 days later his head was found in a canal nearby, his body was never found. In 1983 convicted killer Ottis Toole confessed to killing Adam however, Toole would later recant and re-confess multiple times. In fact, Toole and his partner in crime, Henry Lee Lucas, would become notorious for their extreme number of confessions, over 200, they were often provided with details of the crimes by police.
Though both the Walsh family and LE believe that Ottis Toole was responsible for the murder of Adam Walsh several discrepancies remain about the case remain.
In the transcripts of Toole's original confession released 20 years later it's clear her had very little knowledge of the specifics of Adam's kidnapping.
Adam's murder wasn't typical of Toole's MO. Of the known murders he and Lucas committed the victims were usually people they knew and robbery was a key aspect of their crimes.
Toole's confession seems improbable. Toole lived in a different part of the state several hundred miles from where Adam was abducted. He claims he drove Adam to his home decapitated him, then burned and buried the body on his property, no trace of the body was found there. Toole claimed that he left the decapitated head in the back of his car and forgot about it for several days, after discovering it he decided to drive back to the area of the abduction and leave it in the canal. (This sounds far fetched, but police did find blood stains on the carpet of Toole's car. Unfortunately, samples of these were later lost.)
There are conflicting reports about whether the head was correctly ID-ed as Adam. The podcast states that the head was identified by a friend of the family, but was badly decomposed at the time, a post on Bizarrepedia states that the head was identified based on a single dental filling, but that Adam was missing his two front teeth at the time of the abduction and the head had one front tooth in place. (Personally, I don't question the identification of the remains. Child abductions are extremely rare and I think it's unlikely there would happen to be another child murder in the same area yet completely unknown to police.)
At the time of the disappearance witnesses reported a man in and around the store talking to young men. One witness claimed to see the man throw a boy fitting Adam's description into a blue van. Years later after Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee, eight of these witnesses came forward and identified him as the man they had seen. At the time Dahmer was living within 20 miles of the scene of the abduction and had access to a blue delivery van through his work. (I don't really make much of the Dahmer connection either since this doesn't really match his MO of picking up adult and late teen gay men. There are some reports that he did have a history of exposing himself to minors.)
John Walsh met with Toole in prison, and came away saying he was confident Toole killed his son. Is this a case of a parent wanting closure or perhaps there were more details discussed that we don't know about.