Joining Les for this event will be Detective Joe Matthews. Matthews is a former Sergeant of Detectives and 29-year veteran of the Miami Beach PD, who was named Miami-Dade Police Officer of the Year in 1992. He is also the collaborator, with Les Standiford of Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction that Changed America (Ecco, $24.99), which chronicles his 27-year-effort to bring the kidnapper of Adam Walsh to justice. He is the officer who refused to give up.
From Dear Reader:
On July 27, 2006 the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was signed into law mandating 10-year prison sentences for sex crimes against minors, creating uniform sex offender registries in every state, and outlawing the depiction of sex abuse of children or dissemination of such. Designed largely through the efforts of John Walsh, host of Fox TV’s America’s Most Wanted and the father of Adam Walsh, a six-year-old boy who was abducted from a shopping mall and decapitated in 1981, the law was enacted on the 25th anniversary of Adam’s murder. Although Adam’s murderer confessed many times and there was sufficient physical evidence and witnesses, due to appalling inadequacies in a small-town police department there was no conviction until 2008, and only then because of the determination of Miami Beach detective Joe Matthews. A compelling documentation of the system not working, being righted by Matthews’s diligence, and being strengthened and improved by Walsh’s courageous efforts to protect children in the name of his dead son (Adam was one of “only” 100 children who are kidnapped and murdered every year), this is a must-read for legal and criminal justice professionals, true crime readers, and anyone interested in the process of social change. LH