Adam Walsh

Research compiled and written up by Blue Meanie

Time line with links

November 14, 1974 - John and Revé Walsh welcome their first child. A boy they name Adam after his grandfather John Walsh Sr.'s nickname.

July 27, 1981 - Revé and her son Adam, now 6, make a trip to Sears in Hollywood Florida. Revé goes to look for a lamp that was on sale. Adam stayed behind at a display for the new Atari game system where older children are playing the games. When Revé returned minutes later Adam was gone. Revé searched to no avail. They page for Adam but he never comes. John Walsh is called to the scene, along with police. Over the next few weeks John and Revé made several televised and published appeals for Adam's safe return, offering $5,000.

August 10, 1981 - 16 days after he went missing a severed head is identified as Adam Walsh. It was 120 miles from where he was taken. His torso is never found.

October 10, 1983 - Made for TV movie "Adam" airs. Based on real events it details Adams disappearance and the struggle John and Revé to work with police and lawmakers. At the end John reads a list of missing children's names as their picture is shown. This is done for a couple years and helps reunite a few families.*

October 11-20, 1983 - A known murderer named Ottis Toole claims to have killed Adam Walsh. He is interviewed many times by detectives from other counties and states. His statements change quickly and recants several times. First saying he was innocent of Adams murder on the 26th of October. In 1984 he is questioned further and makes a video tape admission to killing Adam to Texas Rangers. Again he claims he was lying about his involvement. He confesses and recants another estimated 24 times over the years.

June 13, 1984 - John and Revé help found the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. see: A Solid Partnership

September 29, 1986 - Made for TV sequel to "Adam" airs. It is called "Adam: His Song Continues". Similar to the first movie, when it ends pictures of missing children are shown while Revé reads their names. full length here

February 7, 1988 - America's Most Wanted begins. Over 25 years it helped to catch 1,600 fugitives, and bring home at least 60 missing children.

1994 Walmart begins Code Adam to find children lost in stores. Most businesses adapt this practice.

September 15, 1996 Ottis Toole dies, making one more confession to Adams murder on his deathbed.

July 1998 - John Walsh releases his book called Tears of Rage- From Grieving Father to Crusader for Justice: The Untold Story of the Adam Walsh Case

March 13, 2003 Congress enacts legislation using Code Adam for all Federal Office Buildings

July 27, 2006 - President George Bush II signs into law The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act

December 16, 2008 A press conference is held naming Ottis Toole as Adam's murderer. The case is closed as solved 27 years later. The Walsh family can finally bury Adam's remains. video interview with Revé

*You can find Adam the movie to buy on


I had trouble finding a good list of suspects since most stories focus solely on one, or another, but then I found a website of police case records, mostly from the 90's looking back. It is a rabbit hole of information you can easily get lost in. I have been able to figure out a few people suspected right after Adam's disappearance and murder, but I think there may be more if you spend days on end searching for them in those old police files. Anyone given a Polygraph from segment Box5 volume 1-3 could have been a witness or a suspect.

John Walsh - polygraph given, ruled out

Revé Walsh - hypnosis used, polygraph given, ruled out

James Campbell - family friend who lived with the Walsh's for 4 years. Given two polygraphs, ruled out after several questionings.

Alijandro Marcos - polygraph given, no admission

Jeffrey Dahmer - question in Milwaukee by Det. Hoffman. ruled out?

Ottis Toole - named in murder john Walsh polygraph Revé Walsh polygraph James Campbell polygraph 1 James Campbell polygraph 2 letter James Campbell's lawyer to police page 37-40 pages 6 and 7 Alijandro Marcos polygraph Jeffrey Dahmer Ottis Toole

Did Ottis Toole do it?

Ottis Toole is known for making false confessions. He had so many changing stories no one could tell whether to take him seriously or not. It is thought he was being fed information by Detective Paul Ruiz. Investigation into Paul Ruiz tampering I'm only up to page 100 on this link, but I have read about 5 different stories from Ottis so far, and have noted some things and pages from the link:

Pg.15 - 25 detailed time lines. Pg.68 story one. Pg.70 Toole to Ruiz says he doesn't think he could kill such a young child, later says he was going to raise Adam as his son. Hid the torso in the same pond as the head. Pg.71 Learning Henry Lee Lucas was in jail he changes his story to having acted alone. see page 91. Pg.73 Changes story. Pg.75 one day later story changes again. Child had dark hair. Pg.76 Story goes from burning Adam to burying him. Pg.78 Story changes back to burning the remains in Toole's mother's icebox. Pg.79 Luring method changes, burns body on trash bin and cannibalizes it. Pg.82 Henry Lee Lucas interview. Pg.84 Toole interview shown picture of Adam, doesn't recognize him. Pg.93 Says he was on Quaaludes and half a case of beer as an explanation why he can't identify landmarks in the abduction of Adam.

It goes on like this, but I feel it is important how many versions of his story were told. My opinion, I don't believe he did it. Evil though, he may have been, he certainly did murder people. I just don't think he killed Adam. I think he enjoyed the attention. quote from page "I’ve met Ottis Toole, the loathsome fellow they say was the killer, when he was on death row in Florida’s aptly named Starke maximum security prison. I was in a holding cell with him and a tape recorder. And one thing I’ll never forget is the way he smelled. Not just physically, though that was bad enough; metaphysically too. He smelled of evil. I’ve never sensed, felt, the presence of evil so closely. But I don’t believe a word he says when he confessed to poor little Adam Walsh’s death. I think he only did it for self-aggrandizement, to make himself seem like an important killer." About Henry Lee Lucas and why they made false confessions.

Was it Jeffrey Dahmer?

John Walsh has always said no. At lease since he had detective Hoffman look into it. But other people look at Jeffrey's MO and think differently. Especially since he worked in Hollywood Florida, and drove a blue van for work (like witnesses say they saw), in July 1981.

Arthur Jay Harris has been working on this theory for awhile, but he's not the only one. Several witnesses have come forward saying they also saw Dahmer with Adam July 27, 1981. When detective Neil Purtell asked if he killed Adam Walsh: "He said, 'You know, Neil, anyone who killed Adam Walsh could not live in any prison, ever,'" Purtell recalled. quote from here

Willis Morgan calls himself the frustrated witness and started the page which I used a lot of police records from. He thinks Dahmer killed Adam. he challenges the official story by det. Matthews pictures of the mall, Dahmer compared to Walsh case witness sketches

Is Adam still alive?

Last year a man saying he was Adam Walsh, safe and sound contacted Arthur Jay Harris, but wasn't ready to come out in public and make the claim. You will find me in the comments section of this article talking to Arthur Jay Harris(screen shot included). He has been very nice answering my questions. What he has to say may be important, but I don't think Adam is alive. We discuss Revé Walsh's DNA testing against Adams skull, which was positive. Though he says it was contaminated. There may be a note of this in what I found here Page 80 a handwritten note states the lab tech is related to Revé. Harris says he has more information about this in his book. He also has a youtube series about his books called Adam Walsh Serial where he asks the question...

Was that Adam Walsh?

DNA from the above police file says Revé Walsh's Mitochondrial DNA matched the skull. Arthur Jay Harris says otherwise, other people agree. See the dental records lost and autopsy lost from bizzarepedia above.

Interview with Harris

Adam Walsh's Legacy

Adam only had six short years on this earth, but because of him The United States has changed forever. His parents turned their tragedy into a wonderful legacy for their beloved son. From the day their son was abducted letters began to come in with well wishes from other parents of missing children, and once Adam's remains were identified Revé dove into those letters. John said "After Adam's murder, when I was suicidal, Revé answered all these letters from people." That is where Adam's legacy began to unfold.

While worried parents watched their children more closely, the Walsh's along with Alan Landsburg Productions made the "Adam" movies. Documenting their fight to make laws to protect children and highlighting missing children at the end of the movies. Between the first and second movies John and Revé help found The National Center for Missing and Exploited children, an organization that "provides services, resources and technical assistance to child victims of abduction and sexual exploitation, their families and the professionals who serve them." They also train law enforcement, and stores that have adopted Code Adam.

Code Adam was started by Walmart stores in 1994, named in memory of Adam Walsh. Most businesses adopted this practice as well. If a child gets separated from a parent while in the store, a "Code Adam" will be announced over the call system or loud speaker. Workers have been trained to react quickly to try and find the child. One success story from Light Their way Home says "In Crawfordsville, Indiana, Code Adam procedure stopped the attempted abduction of a 3 year-old girl. When the little girl was reported missing, WalMart employees jumped into action issuing the Code Adam Alert in the store. The little girl was found with a man, with a prior record of child abduction, who was then arrested and later convicted." It has helped save numerous children from being abducted. In 2003 Congress signed a law stating Code Adam must be used in all federal office buildings.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was finally signed into law in 2006. The purpose as stated in the act is "To protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crime, to prevent child abuse and child pornography, to promote Internet safety, and to honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child crime victims". It requires sex offenders to register and outlines other things they must and mustn't do. It is an umbrella for many laws and restriction for child predators, sex offenders, and pornographers.

Adam Walsh's devoted parents fought so that our children are safer today, in memory of their son. They didn't have to. They could have crumbled and fallen apart completely, but instead they built this legacy for their son by helping so many others.,1978858&hl=en