Case Closed


The murder of John Walsh’s son is finally solved—and there is something like redemption for a grieving father.

It was 2006 at the Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. John Walsh, host of “America’s Most Wanted” and his wife, Revé, had arranged a meeting with retired detective Joe Matthews, who had worked on the still-unsolved case of their missing son some 25 years before. Revé’s plea was a mother’s last hope: Would their longtime friend try once again to find out who killed and decapitated 6-year-old Adam Walsh that long ago day in Hollywood?

Flash back to 1981: South Florida housewife Revé Walsh, married to up-and-coming hotel developer John Walsh, visits a Sears store in Hollywood to look at lamps on sale. She leaves son Adam at a video game with some other children adjacent to the lighting department. She is gone for about seven minutes; when she returns, Adam is gone. What begins as a local missing child case eventually goes national; the Walshes even appear on “Good Morning America” beseeching the public for help in finding their son.

Then comes the news: Two weeks into the disappearance, the severed head of Adam Walsh is found floating in a Vero Beach canal.

What happened next in the case is a story that took more than 25 years to unfold…