Police: Ottis Toole murdered Adam Walsh
The 1981 Adam Walsh kidnapping and murder case is now closed.
According to Florida police, Ottis Toole, a deceased drifter long suspected in the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh committed the crime that put missing children on the national agenda.
Toole twice confessed to the crime but twice recanted as well. The convicted serial killer died in prison in 1996.
“It is our determination and conclusion that Ottis Toole was the abductor and murderer of Adam Walsh,” police chief Chad Wagner said at an afternoon news conference announcing the end of the 27-year investigation.
“If Ottis Toole was alive today, he would be arrested for the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh on July 27, 1981,” Wagner concluded.
The 6-year-old son of “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh went missing from a Hollywood, Fla., mall more than 27 years ago.
In October 1983, Toole told police he abducted Adam and drove a white Cadillac for about an hour to an isolated dirt road and decapitated the boy.
Adam’s head was discovered two weeks after he vanished from a Sears store but his body never has been found.
Names including that of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, have emerged as suspects. But because of inferior police work by several agencies, bad luck and the passage of time combined, the case was kept open, according to detectives.
In 2006, President Bush signed into law the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which called for tougher monitoring of sex offenders once they’re released from prison.
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