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Bringing Adam Home

Cover of Bringing Adam Home

Bringing Adam Home

The Abduction That Changed America
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Before Adam Walsh there were no faces on milk cartons, no Amber Alerts, no National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, no federal databases of crimes against children, no pedophile registry. His 1981 abduction and murder—unsolved for over a quarter of a century—forever changed America.

One sunny July morning in 1981, RevÉ Walsh and her six-year-old son Adam stopped by the local Sears to pick up some new lamps. Enchanted by a video game at the store's entrance, Adam begged RevÉ to let him try it out while she shopped. When she returned a few minutes later, Adam was gone.

The shock of Adam's murder, and of the inability of the police and the FBI to find his killer, radically altered American innocence and our ideas about childhood. Gone forever were the days when parents would allow their kids out of the house with the casual instruction "Be home by dark!"

RevÉ and John Walsh—who would go on to create America's Most Wanted—became advocates for the transformation of law enforcement's response to and handling of such cases. Prompted by the Walshes' activism, Congress passed the Missing Children Act in 1982, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was founded in 1984.

While our lives have been significantly altered by Adam Walsh's case, few of us know the whole story—how, after more than twenty-seven years of relentless investigation, decorated Miami Beach homicide detective Joe Matthews finally identified Adam's killer.

Bringing Adam Home is the definitive account of this horrifying crime—which, like the Lindbergh kidnapping fifty years earlier, captured public attention—and its aftermath, a true story of tragedy, love, faith, and dedication. It reveals the pain and tenacity of a family determined to find justice, the failed police work that allowed a killer to remain uncharged, and the determined efforts of one cop who accomplished what an entire legal system could not. As harrowing as In Cold Blood, yet ultimately uplifting, Bringing Adam Home is the riveting story of a triumph of justice and the enduring power of love.

Before Adam Walsh there were no faces on milk cartons, no Amber Alerts, no National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, no federal databases of crimes against children, no pedophile registry. His 1981 abduction and murder—unsolved for over a quarter of a century—forever changed America.

One sunny July morning in 1981, RevÉ Walsh and her six-year-old son Adam stopped by the local Sears to pick up some new lamps. Enchanted by a video game at the store's entrance, Adam begged RevÉ to let him try it out while she shopped. When she returned a few minutes later, Adam was gone.

The shock of Adam's murder, and of the inability of the police and the FBI to find his killer, radically altered American innocence and our ideas about childhood. Gone forever were the days when parents would allow their kids out of the house with the casual instruction "Be home by dark!"

RevÉ and John Walsh—who would go on to create America's Most Wanted—became advocates for the transformation of law enforcement's response to and handling of such cases. Prompted by the Walshes' activism, Congress passed the Missing Children Act in 1982, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was founded in 1984.

While our lives have been significantly altered by Adam Walsh's case, few of us know the whole story—how, after more than twenty-seven years of relentless investigation, decorated Miami Beach homicide detective Joe Matthews finally identified Adam's killer.

Bringing Adam Home is the definitive account of this horrifying crime—which, like the Lindbergh kidnapping fifty years earlier, captured public attention—and its aftermath, a true story of tragedy, love, faith, and dedication. It reveals the pain and tenacity of a family determined to find justice, the failed police work that allowed a killer to remain uncharged, and the determined efforts of one cop who accomplished what an entire legal system could not. As harrowing as In Cold Blood, yet ultimately uplifting, Bringing Adam Home is the riveting story of a triumph of justice and the enduring power of love.

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About the Author-
  • Les Standiford is the bestselling author of twenty books and novels, including the John Deal mystery series, and the works of narrative history The Man Who Invented Christmas, a New York Times Editor's Choice, and Last Train to Paradise. He is the director of the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami, where he lives with his wife, Kimberly, a psychotherapist and artist.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Almost 30 years later, this case still stirs up raw emotions and terror in any parent whose child wanders away--even for an instant. This is the story of the kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh in 1981 and the tireless efforts of his parents to solve it. (Adam's father became the host of "America's Most Wanted" because of the murder.) Robert Fass narrates in a doleful, sober voice that matches the book's tone. To his credit, he keeps the story of what happened going when it could easily devolve into melodrama. Fass shades his voice to indicate that a character is speaking, but for the most part he uses a straightforward tone and an even pace to deliver the harrowing story. R.I.G. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
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Bringing Adam Home
Bringing Adam Home
The Abduction That Changed America
Les Standiford
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