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Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America | [Les Standiford, Joe Matthews]

Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America

Before Adam Walsh there were no faces on milk cartons, no Amber Alerts, no National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, no federal databases of crimes against children, no pedophile registry. His 1981 abduction and murder, unsolved for over a quarter of a century, forever changed America.
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Publisher's Summary

Before Adam Walsh, there were no faces on milk cartons, no Amber Alerts, no National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, no federal databases of crimes against children, no pedophile registry. His 1981 abduction and murder, unsolved for over a quarter of a century, forever changed America.

One sunny July morning in 1981, Revé Walsh and her six-year-old son, Adam, stopped by the local Sears to pick up some new lamps. Enchanted by a video game at the store's entrance, Adam begged Revé to let him try it out while she shopped. When she returned a few minutes later, Adam was gone.

The shock of Adam's murder, and of the inability of the police and the FBI to find his killer, radically altered American innocence and our ideas about childhood. Gone forever were the days when parents would allow their kids out of the house with the casual instruction "Be home by dark!"

Revé and John Walsh, who would go on to create America's Most Wanted, became advocates for the transformation of law enforcement's response to and handling of such cases. Prompted by the Walshes' activism, Congress passed the Missing Children Act in 1982, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was founded in 1984.

While our lives have been significantly altered by Adam Walsh's case, few of us know the whole story: how, after more than 27 years of relentless investigation, decorated Miami Beach homicide detective Joe Matthews finally identified Adam's killer.

Bringing Adam Home is the definitive account of this horrifying crime.

©2011 Les Standiford and Joe Matthews (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

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4.3 (69 )
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  •  
    Reserved Powers Michigan, United States 03-12-11
    Reserved Powers Michigan, United States 03-12-11 Member Since 2010

    Mom, birdwatcher, and online teacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Well-told from the Law Enforcement Perspective"

    The story of the abduction of Adam Walsh is often told from the point of view of his father, John Walsh. While the parents' story is also told in this book, the details of the police investigation and the many mistakes of the early stages is the focus here. You will be shocked at how much information that the detective in charge chose to ignore as he made the parents continue to suffer for decades. The story is quite graphic at times, and foul language is used in the context of quotations. It is a gripping story and commentary on the failure and ultimate redemption of law enforcement in this case.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valarie Davison, MI, United States 12-28-11
    Valarie Davison, MI, United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An appalling look back at a broken system"

    Despite the propensity of this genre of book to drag, Bring Adam Home moves quickly and kept me fully engaged. The narrator had a great expressive voice even though he was not often required to speak in "characters". I was not alive when Adam Walsh was murdered, so to me the things that have occurred since 1981 are commonplace (Amber Alerts, etc) but it was shocking to know how it all began. I've read other books about serial killers and the like but this book managed to provide a type of closure despite the circumstances.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aubra CANBY, OR, United States 05-17-12
    Aubra CANBY, OR, United States 05-17-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Who needs suspense?"

    This is not a mystery, nor a riveting or thrilling tale. Within the first two hours, the entire series of events leading to and including the murder are revealed. Within another hour, a full confession is recorded by multiple cops. That leaves another 7 hours of blunders and mishaps.

    The "definitive account of a horrifying crime" is over before the book even starts.While this may be worthwhile to those who are interested in police procedure and the foibles of the legal process, this is neither a mystery, nor thrilling, and would have been better off as an article than a book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 07-29-14
    Simone 07-29-14 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stupefying!"

    Dear Lord! You hear stories about bumbling cops and botched investigations where incompetence is rife and egos rule the roost… but on some level you hope (pray!) it’s all an exaggeration. I guess clichés exist for a reason.

    The book itself lost me through some passages, after a while I started losing track of who said what to whom - but what remains is a truly sad story on many levels.

    I admire how John Walsh come through it all and became a trail blazer in a field that needed someone like him to come around. On some level, you can say Adam didn’t die in vain.

    (p.s.: I miss AMW!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 05-23-13
    Patricia 05-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "This story gets me every time!"

    I remember all too well this case and the details surrounding the search and recovery of this precious child. This book brings it back all over again. The etails and outline of the efforts in finding Adam's killer makes this book a must read for anyone remembering this case or interested in bringing resolution to such crimes. A must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul HARRISBURG, PA, United States 06-09-12
    Paul HARRISBURG, PA, United States 06-09-12 Member Since 2008
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    "could have been shorter"

    This was an interesting account of the murder of Adam Walsh and the investigation into the matter. It was a very frustrating account riddled with ineptitude. The narration was fine. It just could have been a lot shorter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Boston, ma, United States 09-29-11
    Allison Boston, ma, United States 09-29-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic book!"

    I loved this book not only because it was well written but also because i was Adam's age when this happened.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BADBOY Woburn, MA, United States 03-18-12
    BADBOY Woburn, MA, United States 03-18-12 Member Since 2011

    Just BADBOY being BADBOY

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW CRAZY SAD"

    I remember this story as a kid being born in 77 after this my mother would say stay near the house or in stores hold my hand you don't wanna end up like that boy Adam.As a father I don't know how Mr and Mrs Walsh handled any of this at all look at the time where in now 5-6 kids kid napped every 10hrs not know whats happening to your kid is she/he just lost taking hurt WHAT THE HECK what do you during the hrs,days,wks to come me SHUT DOWN staring at a wall.So for John Walsh to hold it together the best he could and now host/help AMW true HERO.....R.I.P. ADAM WALSH Forever with the angels.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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