Jeffrey Dahmer behind gruesome murder of 'America’s Most Wanted' host John Walsh's son Adam: Ex-FBI agent

Jeffrey Dahmer behind gruesome murder of 'America’s Most Wanted' host John Walsh's son Adam: Ex-FBI agent
A former FBI agent believes Jeffrey Dahmer is responsible for the murder of John Walsh's son Adam (inset) (Milwaukee PD, John Shearer/Getty Images, @John_Walsh/Instagram)

Trigger Warning: The article contains graphic description of crime that could be traumatic to some readers. Discretion is advised.

HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA: A former FBI agent believes there is enough evidence to prove that Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster, murdered the son of 'America's Most Wanted' host John Walsh.

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Investigator Neil Purtell said Florida police had bungled compelling evidence that linked the cold-blooded serial killer to the 1981 murder of Adam Walsh, 6. The youngster was reportedly kidnapped from a Sears department store in the Hollywood Mall in Florida in 1981. Sixteen days later, his severed head was found in a canal 120 miles away, making the case one of the most disturbing child murders in US history.

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Purtell spoke to Dahmer in prison after the latter was sentenced to life for the murder of 17 boys and men in Wisconsin. “He said if he did admit to it, he would be killed in prison as a pedophile,” Purtell told RadarOnline. “My impression was he was admitting he did it.”

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Florida police announced in 2008 that their investigation found convicted serial killer Ottis Toole was responsible for the gruesome murder. Toole had reportedly confessed to the killing before recanting his claims but died in prison in 1996.


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A number of failures by the authorities in search efforts for Adam, coupled with lost evidence, meant the police were unable to secure a conviction against Toole. However, investigators also found that Dahmer had been living in Miami Beach at the time of the incident. What's more? Two witnesses placed him near the Hollywood Mall on the day of Adam's abduction.

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Purtell was reportedly one of the first police officers to arrive at Dahmer's Milwaukee apartment following his arrest and noted seeing unmistakable parallels to Adam Walsh's murder. Dahmer would strongly deny any involvement in Adam's death, and authorities eventually ruled him out as a suspect. And in a 1992 interview, Dahmer said, “I’ve told you everything—how I killed them, how I cooked them, who I ate. Why wouldn’t I tell you if I did it to someone else?”

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Jeffrey Dahmer's mugshot taken on July 23, 1991. (Milwaukee Police Department)
Jeffrey Dahmer's mugshot taken on July 23, 1991 (Milwaukee Police Department)

The fresh claims made by Purtell come on the heels of a new Netflix series based on the Dahmer saga titled 'Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story'.

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Earlier this week, the journalist who broke the story in 1991 told the Independent about what the series got wrong. It's worth noting that Adam's murder hooked America to its foundation, prompting a total overhaul in the way missing child cases were being approached and probed. Walsh said in a 2008 interview that he was convinced Toole was behind his son's demise. “The not knowing has been a torture. That journey’s over,” he said at the time. “A lot of horrible memories in this police department looking for that little boy. Now I think it’s only fitting that it ends here, in this police department.”

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John Walsh was lauded by many after he founded the Adam Walsh Child Reform Centre with his wife Reve and went on to become a firebrand for missing person cases. He appeared in a number of TV commercials advising parents not to let their children out of sight. The talented presenter hosted 'America’s Most Wanted' from 1988 to 2012. Police have apprehended more than 1,000 criminals thus far.

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John Walsh attends the 32nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis at New York Hilton Midtown on September 25, 2017 in New York City.
John Walsh attends the 32nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis at New York Hilton Midtown on September 25, 2017, in New York City (Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis )

In 2006, then-President George Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act on the 25th anniversary of the boy's disappearance. The act established a national database of child sex offenders.

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Toole, who was reportedly found guilty of a series of unrelated killings, lived near the mall where Adam went missing. After being thrown behind bars, he confessed several times that he murdered Adams. Hollywood police, however, refused to believe him considering he had a reputation for trying to claim murders with which he had no connection, the Independent reported.

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