Hollywood, FL – There have been few murders in American history that have so gripped the public’s attention the way the murder of 6 year old Adam Walsh did in 1981. From the tragic story of the young boy’s disappearance to the hit television show ‘America’s Most Wanted’, the Walsh murder has had a profound impact on the American psyche and provided the greatest franchise potential since the outbreak of assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
With the murder now nearly thirty years old and no new information coming to light, Florida police have decided to close the case by blaming long dead convicted serial killer Ottis Toole. Toole, who died in 1996 while in the midst of a life sentence for murders committed alongside Henry Lee Lucas, has long been fingered as the prime suspect. Police, apparently needing to clean up old paperwork, have heeded the wishes of the Walsh family and finally closed the case.
“Who could take a 6-year-old and murder and decapitate him? Who?” said John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted, at a news conference Tuesday. “We needed to know. We needed to know. And today we know. The not knowing has been a torture, but that journey's over.”
While the news comes as great relief to the Walsh family, serial killers and criminals are also breathing a lot more easily with many hoping for the end of the long running Fox show.
“While John Walsh’s activism has completely altered the American criminal landscape over the last twenty years, from high profile persecutions, to programs like Amber Alert, the murder of Adam Walsh has inspired a lot of good, for law abiding citizens anyway. For criminals it has been a disaster,” said Scrape TV legal analyst Gabe Hawthorne. “The criminal element in America has never been hunted the way they have in the last twenty years. There is no doubt that many murderers and rapists are breathing little easier tonight.”
Since its premiere in 1988 ‘America’s Most Wanted’ has been responsible for over a thousand captures. The success of the show, combined with the advent of DNA profiling and the rise of web communication, have resulted in a set of crime fighting
tools like no others in history. While it’s unlikely the resolution to this case will suddenly put the crime fighting genie back in the bottle, the hope is that the closing of the case will erode sympathy for Walsh and allow people to see him in a less sympathetic light, largely negating his social profile.
“John Walsh has done a lot of good for a lot of people but the truth is he self-righteous and arrogant and with this now resolved and the drama of this storyline gone, the sympathy factor is more or less gone. Whether or not the people of America will turn on him and make things easier for the criminal element will remain to be seen, but criminals all over the country probably have a smile
on their faces,” continued Hawthorne. “Another overlooked aspect of John Walsh era is the overtaxing of the penal system. While a lot of people have made a killing, so to speak, out to the increased convictions, the truth is the system is way overburdened and fewer convictions can only be a good thing, unless of course you’re the victim.”
Fox officials had no comment on the future of the show, or the future of law enforcement.
“We are thrilled that peace has been brought to the Walsh family after all these years of suffering,” said a Fox official. “We’re hoping that this increased exposure will help aid in more convictions, and help us with ad rates.”
So far, murder rates across the country have remained stable.