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John Walsh Reacts To Book On Son’s Murder Case

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MIAMI – (CBS4) – More than a week after the book “Bringing Adam Home” hit the bookstands, John Walsh expressed his thoughts on the 27-year-old case that forever changed his family and his sense of justice.

“The legacy is you don’t give up, you can change the way you look at cases,” Walsh told CBS4’s Joan Murray.

Walsh’s six-year-old son Adam was kidnapped in July of 1981 at a Hollywood store. More than two decades after his son’s disappearance, it remained an unsolved murder.

But that changed in 2008 when the Hollywood Police Department announced that they had closed the case.

The writer of the book, “Bringing Adam Home,” is Les Standiford, who teaches at FIU.

“When a case goes unsolved for 27 years and had the impact it did, there is no surprise people would begin to spin their own theories on what would happen,” Standiford said. “I tell you in this book there are no theories, these are the facts.”

A dogged detective is the book’s co-author, former Miami Beach officer Joe Matthews.

“Mistake that was made is the wrong detective was assigned to the case with no supervision,” Matthews said.  “The whole case file was made public in 1996. I really believe I might have been the only one that read it, every single page of the 10,000 pages, and put it in some kind of logical order.”

After countless fresh interviews and a fresh look at the case Matthews concluded that all signs definitively pointed to the man originally suspected in the case, Ottis Toole, including blood evidence found in his car. Matthews said, “There was a blood transfer from Adam’s face that (happened) when he (Toole) admitted throwing the head he had decapitated on the floorboard.”

Toole died in prison 12 years after the police department closed the case.

“Ottis Toole took our son in 1981, but it took 27 years of pain and never giving up,” Walsh said. “This book, I think is a lesson and it is a textbook and it is a sign of hope for crying victims and for law enforcement that justice delayed may not mean justice denied.”

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