Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I have always watched too much television for my age. Because we only had basic cable when I was growing up, I didn't get into too much trouble in terms of watching portrayals of sex and violence, but that doesn't mean that I didn't have disturbing images indelibly imprinted on my brain because of the fright I experienced watching movies, especially when I was up watching late at night. One of those images is of Adam Walsh.
Twenty-five years ago, when I was 13, NBC aired a movie called "Adam" depicting the story of Adam Walsh's disappearance and his parents'(played by Daniel J. Travanti and JoBeth Williams) desperate attempts to find him. The movie ends with the tragic truth that Adam will not be coming home because he has been murdered. The closing shot just before credits is a picture of the real Adam Walsh, looking like any kid his age, holding a baseball bat, and missing his front teeth. That image has haunted me for a quarter of a century.
Although his murderer, a convicted pedophile died in prison in 1996, police only closed the case today, having concluded that the accumulated evidence indicated that the man long believed to have been Adam's killer was in fact the perpetrator of this unspeakable crime. Adam's parents and siblings were present for the ruling and called it justice.
Sadly, although Adam's image remains in my memory, he is not the only child who has died at the hands of a depraved person in the past quarter-century. Too many young people have been abducted, assaulted, murdered; too many even now live in harm's way. This is why the work of Adam's parents, especially his father John who hosts America's Most Wanted, is so important. So, tonight as I sit up way too late with the television off I will lift a prayer for John and Reve Walsh, along with all of the other loving parents whose children have been stolen. Oh Lord, please have mercy.