The host of the America's Most Wanted, John Walsh tells for the first time the full story of the 1981 abduction and murder of his six-year-old son, Adam. This is the heartbreaking chronicle of John Walsh's transformation from grieving father to full-time activist -- and the infuriating conspiracy of events that have kept America's No. 1 crime-fighter from obtaining justice and closure for himself and his family. From the day Adam disappeared from a mall in Hollywood, Florida, John Walsh faced a local police department better equipped to track stolen cars than missing children -- and a criminal justice system that would work against him in unimaginable ways. Outraged but determined, he ultimately enlarged the search for Adam's killer into an exhaustive battle on behalf of all missing and abused children, beginning with his efforts to put missing children's faces on milk cartons. Today, John Walsh continues the fight for legislative change and public awareness, driven by his own personal tragedy. Tears of Rage is the story of a true American hero: a man who challenged the system in the name of his son.
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In this aptly titled book, John Walsh traces the steps that led him from being a grieving father to becoming a grieving father who hosts TV's America's Most Wanted, the Fox true-crime show that hunts down bad guys every week through a toll-free tip line. Walsh, however, seems ambivalent about the fame he's been granted. He presents a somewhat halting, uncertain narrative in this autobiography (cowritten with Susan Schindehette), and he makes it clear all the way through that his life is really only driven by one thing: the still-unsolved 1981 abduction and murder of his 6-year-old son, Adam.
Walsh's anger and frustration over a "bumbling" police investigation of his son's murder is evident throughout. According to Walsh, the Hollywood, Florida, Police Department should have arrested a drifter named Ottis Toole--a convicted serial killer who played sidekick for many years to the notorious killer Henry Lee Lucas. Walsh speculates that the police had "formed their own ideas" about who killed Adam and didn't want to believe Toole could have been responsible. But Walsh is convinced, and he presents a large amount of evidence to support his case. Unfortunately, it's too late: Ottis Toole died several years ago in prison.
This is not an easy book to read, and one imagines it wasn't an easy book for John Walsh to write, as he describes, with a staccato style reminiscent of Jack Webb, the probable sequence of events of Adam's disappearance as well as the manner of his death. The bulk of Tears of Rage concerns Adam's abduction and its aftermath and the impact the Walsh family has had since in helping to pass various victims' and children's rights legislation. --Tjames MadisonFrom the Publisher:
As the host of the immensely popular America's Most Wanted, John Walsh has been instrumental in the capture of nearly four hundred and fifty of this country's most dangeroues fugitives. However, few know the full story of the personal tragedy behind his public crusade: the 1981 abduction and murder of his six-year-old son, Adam. Here, for the first time, Walsh, his wife Revé, and their closest friends tell the wrenching tale of Adam's death -- and the infuriating conspiracy of events that have kept America's No. 1 crime fighter from obtaining justice and closure for himself and his family.
"I've never really spoken about these things to anyone before, but I want to talk about Adam before he died. I want people to know just exactly how horrible it is to lose your child, how painful it is. But I also want to talk about how people can help you, and how you can help yourself. About how to come to terms with life when you think you're dying of a broken heart." -- John Walsh
"I remember thinking, 'our son's been murdered, and now we've got to be the ones to do something about it' It was a sad thing for this country that the fight had to be led by two broken-down parents of a murdered child. But we had to, because no one else was going to do it." -- Revé Walsh
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