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Killer of "Most Wanted" Host's Son Identified

12/16/2008 2:52 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The tragic murder of a 6-year-old that lead John Walsh to host "America's Most Wanted" has finally been solved -- a mere 27 years after it happened.

Police in Hollywood, Florida are finally going to ID the scumbag who abducted and decapitated 6-year-old Adam Walsh in 1981. Police are expected to ID the killer as Ottis Toole, a convicted pedophile who died in prison in 1996.

Walsh began hosting "AMW" in 1988 -- a show which claims to have led to the capture of over 1,000 fugitives.

The killer will be officially announced at a press conference later today.

UPDATE: Walsh's publicist just told TMZ, "Evidence proves beyond a doubt that if Toole were alive today, he'd be charged and convicted of abducting and killing Adam."


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Previous 15 Comments | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12


To John Walsh his wife and kids (and Adam) ... My heart goes out to all of you for the loss of your son, Adam. 27 years is a long time to have to have this weigh SO heavily on you. IF any good can come of this news it is that the killer of your son has his place in HELL! Adam has been with you all these many years and is also, at long last, relieved that all of you are finally somewhat relieved at this news. Adam awaits all of you when your individual times come. He has your place ready in heaven. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Walsh for all you have done. God bless!

2113 days ago


I'm very glad that the Walsh family finally has closure on this. I'm entirely disgusted by TMZ's cheap attempt to promote itself by sticking that self-aggrandizing "Died Young" link at the bottom of the article. Heath Ledger died of a freaking overdose, you insensitive jerks. He wasn't abducted and decapitated by a child predator. You've pulled some sleazy stuff, but this is really the bottom of the barrel.

2113 days ago


I watched his show growing up. Now with two boys of my own I am happy there is such a show as AMW. Even though the show began out of tradegy I could care less if it's making him money or made him famous, etc. Bottom line is he is still helping people and that's what counts. The faster the kidnapped faces are posted for us all to see the higher their chances are at survival and us finding them.
So, for those who think he is doing this out of greed....shame on you. Millions of dollars could NEVER replace a child. But you wouldn't know that if you don't have kids of your own.

2113 days ago


If you are ever in a Walmart store (probably many other stores also)
and you hear a CODE ADAM over their PA system
you'll see the doors to the store slam shut immediately

a parent/caretaker has just reported they were separated from a child
usually the child wandered down another aisle-maybe towards toys
but they now have a direct and swift response in case someone has
taken that child and is trying to leave the store with them

washroom areas are quickly checked-they do everything they can to
quickly find the child-including calling the police

so the life of little Adam Walsh has not only spawned America's Most
Wanted, and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and laws
being passed, but also changes in the way stores and malls react to a
missing child--all those things that did not exist.

Even Paul Klaas-father of young victim Paula Klaas-has become a vocal
and tireless public figure helping pass more laws to keep our children

and of course both men were prominent when Elizabeth Smart was
kidnapped and missing, offering support and hope to the family as
well as other families of missing children who maybe didn't get the
same amount of publicity

these 2 men have crusaded on behalf of their children to make the
world safer for all children

anyone who says an evil word against people like this does not live
in the same reality that the rest of us live in and I hope that they
never lose a child that they love in that way to bring them to the

God bless all the families in the world who have lived this nightmare
and I hope that they all receive justice

2113 days ago


so sorry that I was in error in my post 167

it is Mark Klass and his daughter was Polly

I apologize to them and everyone else for accidentally giving the wrong names

2113 days ago


#3 & #21 F@CK YOU!

2113 days ago


I think i may a unique pov on this situation: when i was eight me and my younger sister was nearly taken by a child predator. He was in a car and tried to lure us in with the usual tactics they imploy and if i wasn't there my sister would've gotten in the vehicle. This was in 1972 ages before dna, Amber alerts and the like, but i was a street-smart kid thought by my family to see danger and how to respond if you came across it. I dont think about it often becusae its scary when i do. We're in our 40's now,
my sister has 2 kids and one grandchild as well and its unthinkable to consider what life would be like if she had gotten in that car. So when i read the callous and cynical comments some have made on this thread, im quite disappointed and outraged.

2113 days ago


I dont see how they just determined this now that the supposed killer is dead???? Doesn't make sense I think they just wanted to close the case. I don't mean to be so harsh about it, I've lived in Hollywood fl, and I still live in Broward so it's really sad to know this happened here but I would just like to know how after all these years they can just out of no where say he did it, I no they say they have enough evidence but how do you get evidence when someone has been dead for over 10 years! maybe I'm wrong who knows but I just don't believe it.

2113 days ago

dr. drrrrrinks    

why was a 6 year old at a video arcade without his parents?

2113 days ago


"a show which claims to have captured....." tmz thats disrespectful....they have captured all those people...they don't have to make it up......John and everyone else have known it was Ottis Toole it just took them a while to get everything together i guess...

2113 days ago


dr.drrrrinks, He wasn't at a video arcade by himself. His Mom went to Sear's to check on a lamp that was in a circular. There were several boys in the games dept that they had to pass thru to get to the lamps. He wanted to watch the bigger boys play with the games. His Mom allowed him to, as there were several children in the area. She didn't find the lamp on the shelf, and when she went back to the games area, all of the children were gone. Mgt didn't want the kids playing with the expensive equipment. He was sent, with the rest of them, out of the store. His Mom was unaware that Adam had been sent outside. I am glad this is finally over for his family. To his fathers credit, over 1,000 fugitives have been caught. John Walsh was the first parent of an abducted child to actually stand up and do something about missing children. If all of us were as caring and strong as John Walsh, it may be so that there wouldn't be any abducted children.
I am glad they are finally able to have some peace about this.

2113 days ago
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