At some point when I was little I saw a made-for-TV movie about the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh. I’ve read a couple other books about the case, but none since I became a mother myself. Reading the beginning of the book, even though I knew what happened, was difficult. My own mother left me in the toy aisle many times as she shopped nearby. No one really thought twice about it back then. I wanted to reach through the pages and back in time to yell at Reve not to let him play the video game. That nothing good would come of it.
But that wouldn’t be true.
In fact, a whole lot of good came of Adam’s abduction and murder. We now have the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Hundreds of criminals were brought to justice through John Walsh and America’s Most Wanted. Many places use Code Adam for children reported missing in their stores. The list goes on. It amazes me how some (most) people would be understandably paralyzed if this had happened to their son, but the Walsh family have worked so hard to help others.
Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America by Les Standiford goes through the well-known story of Adam Walsh. It also tells the story of an incredibly botched police investigation (how many times can a person confess and not be believed, but, on the few occasions he – not surprisingly – recants his confession, he is believed?). And the story of Ottis Toole. A few years ago, long after Toole had died, it was determined that Ottis Toole was the likely culprit and, if alive, could be prosecuted and likely convicted. It’s an incredible, sad story all around. I found the book to be thorough and captivating, an excellent retelling of the Adam Walsh case.
5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2014: 39
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