Adams Walsh’s 1981 murder, which shocked parents everywhere, launched a national television crusade, and confounded detectives for more than two decades, will be declared solved today, says the Orlando Sentinel. Hollywood, Fl., police are expected to identify Ottis Toole as the killer of the 6-year old snatched from a Sears store. His severed head turned up two weeks later and his body has never been found. John alsh became a vocal advocate for the plight of missing children after his son’s death, testifying before Congress, founding the Adam Walsh Foundation and, in 1988, debuting his crime-fighting television program.
Toole always has been at the top of the suspect list, primarily because he twice confessed to the crime while sitting on Florida’s Death Row for an unrelated killing. He also recanted twice, and had a history of making wildly outlandish claims that often proved false. Toole died in prison in 1996 after confessing to more than 100 murders, although many of those claims proved false. Toole’s admissions in Adam’s killing had some holes, the largest being that hordes of searchers couldn’t find Adam’s body where Toole said it had been buried. A detective fed Toole inside information about the case and manipulated the dimwitted man in hopes of selling book and movie rights.