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Book: 'Bringing Adam Home': 'Redemptive' for the Walshes

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-11 06:53 PM
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Book: 'Bringing Adam Home': 'Redemptive' for the Walshes
When 6-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Fla., in 1981 and later found murdered, three things happened. John Walsh, who would become the driving force behind America's Most Wanted, and his wife, Rev, suffered the unspeakable tragedy of losing a son. The botched investigation of Adam's death led police departments across the country to change the way they handled missing-children cases, and parents around the world became more vigilant about protecting their kids.

It wasn't until 2006 that retired Miami Beach homicide detective Joe Matthews, at the request of the Walshes, closed the case on who killed Adam. Matthews collaborated with writer Les Standiford to tell the story of the investigation and its influence on society in Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America (Ecco, $24). Matthews and Standiford spoke with USA TODAY about the case.

Q: Les, this story has so many twists and turns over a 27-year period. How did you manage to keep it all straight when you were writing?
Standiford: The materials in Joe's investigative report are the core. Joe had done the heavy lifting in terms of the investigation, but my task was to put all that into a context so that people could understand the magnitude of the crime and Joe's achievement in pursuing it to its close. I also had a sneaking suspicion that everyone thought they knew everything there was to know about this case, but there really was an untold story here. First to last, I realized that while the Walshes and the terrible things they had to endure were part of the context, the real story here, as I see it, is Joe Matthews.

Q: Ottis Toole, the man who Joe proved was the killer, also went on killing sprees with Henry Lee Lucas, an infamous serial killer. How shocking were their crimes?
Standiford: From time to time it did occur to me that I couldn't have put some of this stuff in a novel because people wouldn't have believed it. I remember reading Silence of the Lambs and thinking, "surely Thomas Harris is exaggerating," but I couldn't put a tenth in my book of what Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole claimed they did. It's beyond comprehension and makes Hannibal Lecter look like a Boy Scout.

Good book about a terrible crime. I've read about 3/4's of it and find it hard to put down.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 08:56 AM
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1. I'll look for the book. nt
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