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Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America

Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America

Escrito por Les Standiford e Joe Matthews

Narrado por Robert Fass


Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America

Escrito por Les Standiford e Joe Matthews

Narrado por Robert Fass

avaliações:
4/5 (44 avaliações)
Comprimento:
9 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Mar 1, 2011
ISBN:
9780062081452
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Descrição

"Les Standiford's account of the decades-long attempt to solve the murder of Adam Walsh is chilling, heartbreaking, hopeful, and as relentlessly suspenseful as anything I've ever read. A triumph in every way."
-Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River

"The most significant missing child case since the Lindbergh's….A taut, compelling and often touching book about a long march to justice."
-Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent

The abduction that changed America forever, the 1981 kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh-son of John Walsh, host of the Fox TV series America's Most Wanted-in Hollywood, Florida, was a crime that went unsolved for a quarter of a century. Bringing Adam Home by author Les Standiford is a harrowing account of the terrible crime and its dramatic consequences, the emotional story of a father and mother's efforts to seek justice and resolve the loss of their child, and a compelling portrait of Miami Beach Homicide Detective Joe Matthews, whose unwavering dedication brought the Adam Walsh case to its resolution.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Mar 1, 2011
ISBN:
9780062081452
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Sobre o autor

Les Standiford is the bestselling author of twenty books and novels, including the John Deal mystery series, and the works of narrative history The Man Who Invented Christmas (a New York Times Editors’ Choice) and Last Train to Paradise. He is the director of the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami, where he lives with his wife, Kimberly, a psychotherapist and artist. Visit his website at www.les-standiford.com.


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44 avaliações / 19 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (5/5)
    This is most likely the most difficult book I've read. When six year old Adam Walsh was abducted and murdered in July of 1981, America changed. As a child, my sisters and I could let the screen door slam and tole our mother that we would be back later. There was no fear that something could happen to us, no fear that a pedophile, and very sick man by the name of Ottis Toole would lure us into his vehicle and violently rape, chop our heads off, and partake of some of our bones while he burned and buried thee remains.But, since this occurrence, nationwide, parents learned of just what could happen if children weren't kept by their sides and kept close.ReVee Walsh took six year old Adam to a local Hollywood, Florida Sears store. While she looked at lamps for a few minutes, Adam was left with other children who were playing video games at the Sears store. When she returned, he was gone. As she panicked and continued to call for Adam, seeking help from mangers, little did she know he was already headed ten miles away where he was tortured and murdered.Another travesty occured when the detectives time and time again missed or buried the truth that a man on their radar was indeed the killer. Toole had bragged to numerous sources what he did to little Adam. But, the men in charge, simply refused to take Toole at his word. When Adam's 34th birthday occurred, finally, under the direction of Detective Sergeant Joe Matthews, who painstakingly spent countless hours going over each and every document, tracing the dots and all the errors that were made and was finally, without a doubt, able to prove that Ottis Toole was indeed the man who killed Adam.By then, Toole had died, a victim of liver failure, he cried on his death bed to God that he was so very sorry about that little boy. However, the Walsh family finally had the legal team on their side and the state attorney's office made the decision once and for all the Toole was the murderer.Through their grief and pain, the Walsh's worked to host a TV show, America's Most Wanted, which advocated for missing children. The crime was horrifying, the written description of what happened to Adam was very difficult to read. But, I was reminded why to this day when my granddaughter is ten minutes later than she said she would be, I try not to panic. But, still my mind wonders What IF!While I rate this five stars, it was indeed incredibly hard to learn the details.
  • (4/5)
    Great book!
  • (2/5)
    This story - about the investigation into Adam Walsh's murder, not exactly what the title seems to imply - has the potential to be interesting, but the author is so adamantly against the Hollywood PD that it becomes tedious to read about their incompetence. (Moreso given that the book doesn't address the over-confessions of Henry Lee Lucas, at least not in the 300+ pages I read of it. And moreso again given that the author seems convinced that one good polygraph would have solved everything, given what we know about the reliability of polygraphs.) I had to give up on it.
  • (4/5)
    Makes you aware that we are surrounded by some very bad people. Human error and egos in all areas caused the case to go on for years. Those poor parents and the pain they had to go through would be unbearable. RIP Adam.
  • (5/5)
    Wow what an eye-opening account of what happened to poor Adam Walsh, God bless Sergeant Joe Matthews and chief Chad Wagoner. I can't believe it took over 25 years for this case to be closed and the incompetency of some of Florida's police. Hopefully the fact that the case has now officially been solved it will bring the Walsh family some closure if there is such a thing. God bless you Adam Walsh
  • (5/5)
    The Adam Walsh story has changed America whether you know him or not. The abduction and death of this little boy was a tragedy that facilitated the change in how our laws protect our children. The book itself is well written and the story is compelling, not to mention educational.
  • (5/5)
    This abduction was one of the memorable events of my young life. I remember listening for every piece of information I could get and was terribly sad when Adam was found dead - later I watched AMW week after week, considering it almost like a duty to watch just in case there'd be one case for which I might have info. Given all that, after he was found this story drifted away from my life and AMW went away (well, I guess *I* went away, not watching TV at all since about age 35)... and I never heard if the perpetrator was ever caught. After all these years... now I know. I could barely put this book down, it was so good. Easy to follow. Great narrator. Interesting clues with lots of little foreshadow moments. I'm sad to read the story but happy to know that John and Reve found some closure.
  • (2/5)
    Shameful behavior from both of poor Adam's parents before and after his death.
  • (4/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    'Bringing Adam Home' is an engrossing account of the bungled police investigation surrounding the infamous Adam Walsh murder, along with the story of the investigator who was finally able to bring all the clues together.Most of us are familiar with the basics of the case, and many of us are familiar with the boy's father, John Walsh, host of 'America's Most Wanted.' But why did it take 27 years to solve it? And what eventually made everything click? This book provides great insight into the politics and personalities that can aid or thrwart police departments in their investigations. The book also paints a disturbing, but honest portrait of the man who was eventually charged with Adam's murder. Readers get insight into the darkness that pervaded his life and led up to his gristly actions, even as it's revealed he would later have seemingly uncharacteristic flashes of guilt about what he did. It's a reminder that even the monsters are still, on some level, human. Several of the policemen involved in the investigation aren't exactly portrayed in a positive light, but the book does try to be fair when it can, offering potential explanations for some of their behavior, and attributing apparent lapses in judgement to inexperience rather than incompetence. With any such story, of course, you're only hearing one side of the matter (in this case, the book was co-written with Joe Matthews, the man who eventually solved it), so a little bias is inevitable, but this account seems reasonable. Downsides: when recounting the details of the investigation, it does read a bit slowly as it gets into the details of who said what and who called whom, and when. But that's perhaps to be expected from an investigation that spanned more then 25 years, rife with complications and errors along the way. Also, it contains the phrase "It is one of many stories reflecting Matthews's refusal to be cowed by blowhards, but it is surely not the only one." I had to stop reading and put the book down for a minute after that one. You'll be happy to know that's the exception rather than the rule, though. Tsk tsk to the editor for missing it! ;)Overall, it's quite an interesting read, and I recommend it for anyone who wants to know more about the case and/or for anyone who enjoys true crime stories.

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (4/5)
    The kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh happened when I was just a baby but I've learned bits and pieces about the case throughout my life while watching interviews with John Walsh, and of course, America's Most Wanted. Until I read this book I never knew the whole story and the impact it had had on the country and the way future crimes against children would be handled.

    The book was tough to read on multiple levels. The details of the abduction and murder itself are horrid and heartbreaking. The photos included are not overtly bloody or gory but are chilling nonetheless. What was almost worse for me, though, was the way the case was mishandled from the beginning. The ineptitude of all but a couple of the people involved in that case is another tragedy that the poor Walsh family had to deal with. It really made me angry while reading it.

    The book as a whole was a little choppy in places but I find that that's the nature of many true-crime books because there are so many parallel stories - various investigators, perpetrators, families, etc. In spite of that, I found it hard to put down. It was interesting and even knowing what the outcome of the story was, I still wanted to know the details.

    Although the material is not something I enjoyed, I did enjoy the reading experience that this book offered.
  • (4/5)
    We often comment about how differently parents treat their children now then when we were kids. It seems they need to always be watched, kept under careful eye, never free to just be out and about for hours -- a loss of freedom. This author traces the change in our attitude to the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh in 1981. Maybe so, maybe it was just part of a change that was happening for a lot of reasons. I hadn't kept up with the case at the time or since, and I didn't realize the mess that the Hollywood, Florida police department had made of the case. It's hard to tell if this account is fair, it seems to lionize Joe Matthews, the Miami Beach detective that cleared up the questions after 25 years. On the other hand, he collaborated in writing the book. Not necessarily a recipe for objectivity!
  • (4/5)
    As I am from South Florida, I am very familiar with this case. To this day John Walsh still features South Florida often in his America's most Wanted TV Show, which as of the last episode, has now been cancelled. This book is best read after Tears of Rage, the book where John Walsh details the case from his own point of view. He gave his blessing to this book which details what everyone has since learned, the Hollywood Police Department was incompetent. It is a testament to John Walsh that he has used his families pain to improve missing children alerts and brought other children home to their families. Sadly there will never be true justice in a court of law for Adam but this book at least identifies who John Walsh himself believes to be the murderer of his son. God bless the Walsh family.
  • (5/5)
    Bringing Adam Home was an engrossing read that was at times infuriating, heartbreaking, and hopeful. Det. Sgt. Joe Matthews may have just been a cop doing his job, but in my mind he's a hero. He fought through apathy and incompetence to find and prove the truth of what happened to Adam Walsh. John and Reve are also heroes for taking their personal tragedy and using it to change a nation. I was only 11 years old, but I remember the abduction of Adam Walsh. When I became a parent, I knew he was the reason behind the Code Adam at many stores I patronized. I was sad for the price that it cost, but I was grateful for what the Walsh's accomplished. Because of them, our children are safer. I'm glad they finally received the answers that they searched for for far too many years.
  • (3/5)
    In 1981 Adam Walsh was abducted from a crowded Sears store in Florida. His decapitated head was found several months later, the remainder of his body was never found. The police department overlooked many witnesses, evidence and leads during the beginning of the investigation, leaving the murderer free. John Walsh, Adam's father, became an unrelenting advocate and pressured the legislature to pass many laws dealing with missing and abused children.Despite the tragedy of Adam's kidnapping and death, this book was a bit dry and repetitive. It dealt almost exclusively with the details of the investigation, which was botched from the beginning. I would have liked more from the perspective of Adam's parents, in order to humanize the story.
  • (5/5)
    Glad there was closure for the Walshes after all these years. It only took 25 years later and one great detective to reopen the case and find out who killed adam. I don't understand how all the evidence was right in front of the police and they did not make an arrest.
  • (4/5)
    Gripping and gruesome. Quite the book about parents living with the abduction and killing of their son and the long investigation to convict the killer. A book about the feelings of guilt, the "if I only" thoughts, and how these persist for 25 years. And the same parents living with a failing police team, learning how pride of individuals leads to the failing of an investigation, dragging it on for more than 25 years. Be ready for an intense read, for details that you probably won't like, and imagine that you're the parent of Adam.
  • (4/5)
    Before picking up Bringing Adam Home, I did not know all that much about the Adam Walsh disappearance and eventual murder investigation. So the bulk of the book was all new material for me. What ended up capturing my interest was the way the case resonated with the American People, so much so that it permanently changed the way children are parented, and the way law enforcement handled missing children cases. The most inspirational aspect of this horrific event, if there is one, is how the Walsh family took this tragedy and leveraged it into something positive, like America’s Most Wanted. Bringing Adam Home, however, mostly focuses on the gritty details of the case and how Joe Matthews overcame a lot of procedural politics and was able to clear it. We know who the killer is pretty early on, and then we go over the same evidence repeatedly until Les Sanford finally frames it in context while dispelling some of the other prominent case theories. There is also a where are they now conclusion and a list of those who figure strongly in the story for reference. The book is well written in typical crime fashion think Grisham’s An Innocent Man with an extra heap of salacious and cliffhanger phrasing (ie, if only they had known…). But as fascinating as hindsight finger pointing at a bungling Police Investigators is, at times it veered towards spiteful. It was pretty clear Joe Matthews had something to prove. The books also pointed out some really intriguing theories that it failed to then develop. It also bothers me that the book is titled, Bringing Adam Home when this title is misleading considering the facts of the case. It’s also doesn’t give much on the where are they now section beyond the Walshs and Joe Matthews. To have updates on the other detectives (especially Buddy Terry who was accused of corruption) would have been interesting. It did spark my interest in John Walsh’s book, Tears of Rage. Those with an interest in the case or how police build a case should find it thrilling.
  • (4/5)
    I have thought often about Adam Walsh since his abduction in 1981. I remember it on the news and it's been impressive to watch the Walshes turn their personal tragedy into good. Imagine that before this happened there was no database of missing children, no Center for Missing and Exploited Children, no Amber Alerts, no way for law enforcement across jurisdictions to even recognize that a child was gone. The Walshes and many other parents have worked hard to make missing and exploited children more visible and to give law enforcement and the general public the ability to bring kids home. The utility of this was recently and sadly demonstrated for me with the disappearance of Juliani Cardenas who was snatched from his grandmother's arms by his mother's disgruntled ex-boyfriend (who wasn't the father). Ever since his abduction the Amber Alerts with a description of the car and its license plate have been all over the freeways here on digital signage and the story has been on the news. Sadly, he was found drowned in a canal. It is believed his abductor drowned there, too. The point is that he was found because lots of people were looking for him and knew he was gone. In the 1980's people one town over from an abducted child wouldn't necessarily know about it.Bringing Adam Home follows the story of the investigation into Adam Walsh's abduction all through the years until retired Miami homicide detective Joe Matthews brought together all the existing evidence and proved conclusively that Ottis Toole was the killer. It is a story of a long-botched investigation and of the serial killer who confessed to the killing over and over again - even on his death bed - yet the Hollywood, FL police department seemed more interested in clearing him than in believing him.Well-written, horrific, and ultimately uplifting, this book tells the story of one child whose disappearance changed a nation, but whose wait for justice was too long, indeed.
  • (4/5)
    I had to read this book without my husband seeing it…he told me once that he was so affected by the TV movie “Adam” that he had nightmares about it when he was a child. I, too, have certain images from that movie burned into my mind, and I haven’t seen it for 28 years. There was something about that case, that boy, that movie that changed everything. The book “Bringing Adam Home” includes it right there on the cover, “The Abduction that Changed America”.“In July 2001 the Miami Herald ran a pair of lengthy articles by staff writer Daniel de Vise concerning the case, concurrent with the twentieth anniversary of Adam’s disappearance. The first focused on the impact of the case on the nation’s attitudes, rewriting laws and redefining relationships between adults and children. Many tragic child murders had faded from the public consciousness, de Vise wrote, “but Adam Walsh’s endures.”So I couldn’t help but read this book, but it wasn’t what I expected. I guess I haven’t heard any of the updates on the Adam Walsh case – but I thought that the book would have more of a traditional true crime format – providing background on those involved, then the details of the crime, then the events that eventually led to the conclusion. And I suppose it does, in a way, but the book doesn’t keep much up its sleeve even from page 6.It was an interesting, if completely heartbreaking, look at a criminally negligent police investigation, as well as a look back at how things used to be in the times before Amber alerts and national databases. It was stunning to me how a police department, a few officers in particular, refused to even try to solve a case that had the whole country watching. So much information came their way, right after the abduction and after years had passed, but almost none of it was followed up on. I kept shaking my head at how many years passed with no communication with the Walsh family. There is so much I could write about the maddening lack of pursuit of answers, yet that would be a spoiler of epic proportions.This is a tale that needs to be told, a follow-up to the tragic ending of a little boy’s life, a story of the answers that it took a family decades to get.But because it is also a story of how things were in our country and how things will never be again, I wanted more. I wanted a more detailed look at how the perceptions of our children’s safety have been forever altered, at how parenting has changed dramatically, at how the headlines and Internet and cable news now seems 24/7 abduction and murder.“Among the myriad, unkillable pieces of spam that circulate through the Ethernet is one that invites readers of a certain age to “remember when.” Popular songs once had melodies, we are reminded, and stores were once closed on Sundays, and “underwear” meant exactly that. But there are more poignant notes on the list, including an invocation of those innocent summer days when kids blew past a banging screen door with a shouted promise to be “home by dark,” and who ever worried about that? Today, of course, such carelessness upon the part of parents is unthinkable, if not vaguely criminal in itself. Perhaps, once upon a time, only worried about their kids when they took them to the beach or to the pool, or hiking up some steep path. Now vigilance begins at birth, if not before, and for most the worry never ends.”I am of that certain age. I was a child only slightly older than Adam Walsh – I had those summer nights and the carefree days. And then his life was taken, as was the innocence of our country.(This is a connection that I’d never made before, and I read about in Lenore Skenazy’s book Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry. An AMAZING book, I recommend it to all parents.)I certainly don’t mean to suggest that the story of how so many of our daily lives were changed is a more important one that the story of the Walsh family. My heart broke for them then and still does today. The fact that they were able to find the strength not only to stay together, but to have more children and be some of the strongest advocates of children ever, amazes me to no end. Adam Walsh’s abduction gave my husband nightmares after he watched the movie about it as a child. “Bringing Adam Home” gave me nightmares as I assimilated some of the scenes into dreams about my children. The facts of the horrors inflicted on that sunny faced little boy and his family are a nightmare no one hopes will ever play out again.But like the Walsh family has done, I hope that eventually our country will make some good of the bad. That we will find the strength to have hope again and trust – so that our children can have safe, and yet still carefree summer days. That we don’t let the darkness win.