'America's Most Wanted' Host John Walsh Reflects on Late Son Adam 40 Years After His Murder

It's been almost four decades since John Walsh's son, Adam, was murdered. In an interview with People Now, Walsh described his late son as "the most beautiful little boy." As far as Otis Toole, the man who has been suspected of abducting and murdering him, Walsh said he was "a serial predator who roamed this country for years and grabbed kids all over this country."

During the interview, the former host of America's Most Wanted didn't mince words when addressing what he saw as a rising epidemic of violence in the U.S.

"Last year set all types of records for homicides in America," Walsh said. "In Chicago, there were 700 homicides plus and only 10 people were arrested. We had 307 mass murders and 29 school shootings. It's appalling, the level of violence, and I am saying to the public … America cares about the Housewives of whatever county or the Kardashians. They don't want to talk about the level of violence."

Following the murder of Walsh's son, the family founded the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, which was dedicated to legislative reform. The center is responsible for both the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984.

As a figurehead of helping missing and exploited children, he began hosting America's Most Wanted in 1988, a Fox true-crime anthology series that brought over 1,000 at-large criminals to justice thanks to its viewers. It would go on to be the longest-running show in the network's history until it was surpassed by The Simpsons. It was canceled by Fox in 2011, where it later moved to Lifetime until 2013.

Last week, there was talk of reviving the series with a more international scope at the Television Critics' Association, via Fox Alternative President Rob Wade.

According to Deadline, Wade called it "a great format, [a] very Fox format."


"We have seen that sometimes, there is success in bringing back existing IP, it immediately gives you a massive leg-up in the marketing," Wade explained. "That's what is attractive to us. Secondly, crime is something that is hugely consumed — certainly on cable and streaming — but has not been cracked in unscripted on network. Thirdly, I think it is a show that can create urgency and has a kind of a good heart at the end of the day. It is a crime show but it has positivity to it; you can try to find a fugitive and help."