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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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The story doesn't tell what new information led them to believe they got the right guy 12 years after the guy is dead.

2076 days ago


i remember this case as if it were yesterday.
such a pity, so very sad when parents/family have to endure something of this calibur.
yes, thank god there are people like john walsh, it always amazed me how strong this man was during ordeal.
at least there is closure.

2076 days ago


3. So what.

Posted at 1:00PM on Dec 16th 2008 by G. Hall

People: This is the mentality your future son's and daughter's are going to have if you don't start acting like the parents you are supposed to be.
G.HALL: You need to be put down like a rabid dog.

2076 days ago


I remember when this happened. The whole country.....hell the whole world was in shock. This kind of thing just didn't happen back then. Now it happens every day and we are so jaded sad!

2076 days ago

joann giffen    

may he rest in peace now, im so sorry it ever happened, i was living in miami back when it happened, glad its over and the creep is do a great job, mr. walsh with your tv program also..god bless your family

2076 days ago



2076 days ago


Too bad he's already dead, he got off too easy.

2076 days ago


G. Hall...........You are such an ass. John Walsh has done a tremendous amount for the good of everyone. Hope you rot in HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

2076 days ago

bobbie Taylor    

I was in FL when this happened, my daughter was only one and it changed how I brought her up. To, maybe, answer some of the questions about all of this it went like this: First Adam disappeared, then was found dead (actually only his head was recovered), knowing this his wonderful parents, who were going on Good Morning America anyway, instead of running away they went ahead on went on that show, knowing that even though their son could no longer be helped but so many others could be if shows like GMA would get involved. Hence the beginning of AMW. Years went by and then Otoole was caught with another guy who was his murder partner. Otoole confessed but they never knew if he was lying or not. As to the events of today, I can only hope that it was some kind of DNA evidence that will finally let Mr. Walsh and family finally have peace in their lives. God rest Adam, you were much too young. God bless the Walsh family for never giving up on finding the monster that did this to their sweet boy.

2076 days ago

JENNY 4    

Every time there is a terrible thing happening I am surprised by the hateful people there are in this world. #3 obviously you are a serial killer, selfish, spoiled brat. Even people that have never had children can feel the pain of someone for any hurt against people and even animals. What goes around comes around and I have no good feelings for you.

2076 days ago


I'm glad they found the suspect. Many people never find the criminal. I wish the boy's head was found too tho.

2076 days ago


I hope Mr. Walsh finds some peace knowing his son's killer has been identified, but the hole in his heart will remain forever. Bless him for all he does to help others. He is in my prayers.

2076 days ago


this news story brought tears to my eyes, I know the kind of weight that can be lifted off your shoulders from something like this. This is wonderful. Blessings to the Walsh family. Keep up your great work John, you are my hero!!!!!

2076 days ago


Toole confessed to this crime YEARS ago, but he was a know liar and also confessed to other murders that he never committed. My question is what could evidence could they have gotten 27 years after the fact and 12 years after HE died? I’m just not sure I believe it. I’m thinking they just want to close the case and get it out of the way.

2076 days ago


How sad that some of us live in fear, and others live with sorry and despair. Thought of losing a child is, by far, the most painful and humbling experience. The first question- "Where did he go"? The second question, "Who took him (her)"? I heard about John Walsh by a friend, while we were watching his show a few years ago. I couldn't help it, tears welled up in my eyes. The thought, just the thought of someone missing a child, even for say, an hour, is just so frightening!
I"m sure that being so close to this type of situation has to make John Walsh perfect for these types of stories. Being in the media as well as working closely with police departments makes him an invalualble source of information and a spokesperson for this type of show. How absolutely wonderful of him to be so strong and courageous to go out on national television consistently for so many years, looking for others, yet having his own unsolved mystery. I think he is extemely brave to do this and yet, know in the back of his mind what ultimately must've happened to his son.With all the hate and "bad" in the world, why should he have to endure yet another devastating and torturing event?!
Mr Walsh! To you and your family, I am truely sorry for man's inhumanity to man to have been taken out on your son. We all have the power to seek a higher level and live more peacefully and friendly and compassionately with each other. Unfortunately, some people feel they are just their own "world". How sad to live your life as if you just came out of a James Joyce story.
The fact that your new information is, at best just information, and that nothing will bring back your son, it matters little that this fiend has died so prematurely before all the facts were known. What matters is that you know what happened to your son, who did this to your son, and although there is nothing more you can do to protect your child, or find justice for the person who did this, I want you to know that my heart goes out to you. My heart goes out in prayer, that knowing this small bit of information helps you see that some else feels your tears and pain.
I wish you no more tragedy in your life or the lives of your family members. I wish you no more pain and suffering. I hope you let the unanswered questions go, and think that whatever sadness this life brought you, can eventually be brought to rest.
I wish we could all fight with love instead of war, hugs instead of hate, and hand shakes or kisses instead of weapons. No one should have to endure any portion of their lives as you have with so much anguish. You do good work and I know that although you can show only so many expose's on your show, you help many. many more people than you realize! God Bless you Sir, and I hope you sleep better at night knowing that you have been an icon in the hearts of so many.

2076 days ago
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