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Extended Audio Sample Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America, by Les Standiford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (893 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Les Standiford Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 twenty-seven 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—which, like the Lindbergh kidnapping fifty years earlier, captured public attention—and its aftermath, a true story of tragedy, love, faith, and dedication. It reveals the pain and tenacity of a family determined to find justice, the failed police work that allowed a killer to remain uncharged, and the determined efforts of one cop who accomplished what an entire legal system could not. As harrowing as In Cold Blood, yet ultimately uplifting, Bringing Adam Home is the riveting story of a triumph of justice and the enduring power of love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This tale of the most significant missing child case since the Lindbergh’s—that of TV host John Walsh’s son Adam and the twenty-seven-year search for his killer—is truly terrific. A taut, compelling, and often touching book about a long march to justice.”

    Scott Turow, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Chilling, heartbreaking, hopeful, and as relentlessly suspenseful as anything I’ve ever read. A triumph in every way.”

    Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River

  • “A riveting account of a child abduction and murder that went unsolved for twenty-seven years—both an unsettling exposé of police incompetence and a portrait of an extraordinary and dedicated detective.”

    Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award–winning author

  • “[A] heartbreaking story of incompetent police and determined parents…Novelist and nonfiction author Les Standiford does a masterful job of re-creation, reporting and research…Readers will be haunted by the maladroit investigation and the added anguish this caused the Walshes.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “At its heart, this well-written and well-told book isn’t so much an account of discovering the truth behind one of the nation’s most notorious slayings as an autopsy of a botched criminal investigation that identified a solid suspect but soon sputtered and took wrong turns for more two decades…Readers willing to confront the horrifying nature of this crime will come…to admire the determination of Matthews and the Walshes for refusing to give up.”

    Washington Post

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the March 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lesley | 2/19/2014

    " I read a book years ago about the Adam Walsh case;however, this book has alot more detail about the crime. It certainly kept me reading. It also evoked emotions of anger and disbelief about the errors and egos that got in the way of this case. Very moving, very detailed book. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Wayne Hogg | 2/16/2014

    " So insightful into the world of a psychopath and the problems an ignorant band of detectives can have on the solving of a case. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nancy | 2/12/2014

    " This is the story of Adam Walsh's kidnapping, brutal murder, and the sloppy police investigation that followed. As someone who has long wondered about what really happened to Adam, and who the killer really was, I found this book immensely fascinating and satisfying. The author pulls no punches in describing the failings of the Hollywood, Florida police department. He also reveals who the real killer was and goes into painstaking detail over every little aspect of the crime that should have been prosecuted long ago. Along the way, he also talks about the Walsh family and how they were affected by the crime and the reforms they have championed in the media and in the law concerning missing and kidnapped children. Some parts of the story are grisly and disturbing, but the story would be less powerful if the particularly brutal aspects were glazed over. If you ever wondered about what happened to Adam, this book is for you! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Karen | 2/9/2014

    " Decent read. Interested, sad, scared, glad, but mostly angry. I was interested in reading about a crime I had known about, but did not really know many details. I was very saddened by what happened to Adam Walsh and what his parents went through. I was scared criminal acts like this are not solved even with seemingly overwhelming evidence. I was glad perserverence finally brought the truth to light. But mostly, I was so very angry at the actions of people who I normally expect to be helpful and thorough when others are in need. Their clouded judgement and ego prevented the truth from being discovered for so long. Unforgivable. "

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