Interview with John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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John Walsh

Article by Boo 11/8/07

ďAmericaís Most WantedĒ is Foxís longest running series, being on the air for 20 years.  John Walsh has had some great success stories in helping to capture killers, finding missing persons, and bringing home children that have been abducted from their loved ones.  I have been a fan of this show for many years, and even had some personal experience with the show when my best friendís 9 year old little boy went missing in 1992.  Today I had the opportunity to be a part of a conference call with John Walsh.  I am so happy I did it.  I was very nervous, but it was an experience I will not forget. 

 The first 15 minutes or so, John talked about the next two shows coming up on Saturday the 10th, and the 17th.  On the 10th, the show is centered in Hawaii in search of a serial killer that has already killed three women and a man that killed a personal friend of Johnís.  Some items that John personally bought his friend figure heavily in the solving of the crime.  On the 17th, John is off to Portugal to look into the disappearance of Maddie McCann.   He told of meeting with the parents and how badly the Portugal police had botched the investigation right from the start.  Both cases are very interesting ,and I know I will be doing what I can to catch both episodes. 

After he finished telling of these cases, they opened the call up to questions.  One caller at a time was allowed to ask as many questions as we wanted.  There were about 8 callers.  Each asked two or three questions, then thanked him for his time and let the next caller ask their questions.  He was patient, polite, and thorough with all of the answers.  He sounded very relaxed and comfortable, also.  He was asked why he felt the Portugal police had messed up the investigation into Maddieís disappearance.  He said that they donít have the resources or the know-how that we have in America.  America sets the bar for other countries to strive to reach.  They donít have anything like a sex offenderís registry or Amber alerts.  In some countries, child pornography and child slavery are still legal.  Even though we are already the best, he says there is still so much more that  we can do to keep our children safe. 

One thing he mentioned was to push the government to put The Adam Walsh Child Protection And Safety Act Of 2006 to use.  Even though it was signed into law by President Bush in July of 2006, it has not been acted upon.  You can read more about it here

When asked what his most rewarding case was, he said that he had been involved in many cases of which he was proud.  He mentioned several of the serial killer cases, including BTK.  What he is most proud of ,though, is the children they have been able to actually bring back home, with Elizabeth Smart being at the top of that list.  He also talked about why many of the crimes against women and children go unsolved.  He blames it on poor training in police departments and the fact that in some states,  coroners do not even have to have any kind of medical training.  That statement floored me.  He said that even a hair-dresser can sometimes be elected to the position of coroner.  Another thing he said that alarmed me a little bit was that serial killers will hit small rural areas more often because the small police forces donít know how to deal with them and because the women and children are more trusting and naÔve. 

Finally, it was my turn to talk to him.  I told him who I was and thanked him for talking to us.  I asked him how they handle all the thousands of tips they must receive after every show.  He explained that was part of the reason they have been as successful as they have been.  When people call in tips to the show, they only talk to people that work for the show - never to police or to anyone in authority.  It is totally anonymous.  It takes away the fear that people have of helping out the police.  Often, people wonít tell what they know out of fear of retribution or fear of having to testify.  AMW takes away those fears.  Over the past 20 years, they have become pretty good at knowing which tips are real and which are not.  I also asked him what they do if a case is solved before it airs.  He said they simply donít air it.  I asked him about the case of Baby Grace as well.  He has seen some of the evidence and the autopsy, and he talked about how sad the case made him because he believes the childís parents or a step- parent killed her.  I thanked him for his time and let the next caller have his chance.  The last question asked of him was why he always wears the black leather jacket.  His answer was very simple: because he rides a motorcycle.

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