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GET STARTED READING FOUR INVESTIGATIVE TRUE CRIME BOOKS!
Four true stories of hard-fought justice
READ THE CLIFFHANGER FIRST CHAPTERS FOR FREE!
Then link to the full books at my Author Page
Can’t choose?
Read all the full versions in Box Sets for the very best price

This Investigative True Crime Starter by Arthur Jay Harris
includes the first chapters of:
THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF ADAM WALSH (both Books 1 & 2)
FLOWERS FOR MRS. LUSKIN
SPEED KILLS and
UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT
For more about each title, go to my Author Page

FLOWERS FOR MRS. LUSKIN: The divorce was vicious, but at least it hadn't turned deadly. Then came the flowers.

At the best house in the best neighborhood in Hollywood, Florida, Marie Luskin answered her front door and saw a deliveryman holding a floral arrangement. From behind the leaves and petals he pulled out a pistol and pointed it at her. At the time, she was embroiled in the biggest divorce in the county's history.

But why didn't the gunman shoot and kill her? According to Marie, he demanded all her money and then hit her with the gun. According to the prosecutor, he shot her. But the jury agreed on one thing: that Marie's wealthy, estranged husband, Paul, was clearly behind a murder-for-hire. Then the truth came out.

SPEED KILLS: He built the fastest boats -- for royalty, the rich, spies, smugglers, Feds and a former U.S. President. Then came six shots.

It was the era of cool shades and Miami Vice, and Don Aronow's Cigarette boats were the symbol of the city's sun-drenched decadence. But faster than his speed boats was Aronow himself -- in races behind the throttle, in business deals and on the town with his collection of stunning women. And then, in broad daylight, someone in a dark Lincoln gunned him down.

Who had Don double-dealt? A dope smuggler? The Mafia? The husband or boyfriend of one of his many paramours? And after ten years of dogged work, did Miami police get it right -- or were they dead wrong?

UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT: The prosecutor was no longer sure both murder defendants were guilty. So he asked his dad -- the real-life Kojak.

A mother's dying, gasping call to 911: "My husband! My baby!" In her secluded ranch house, she'd been stabbed with a kitchen knife. Her husband, infant and elderly father-in-law had all been shot in the head, point-blank.

For three years, police had two suspects under surveillance, then arrest. Both faced the death penalty. But prosecutor Brian Cavanagh began to doubt that the defendants were partners. So he consulted with his father, a retired NYPD cop whose reputation for savvy sleuthing had inspired the creation of one of the most beloved characters in television history. Now the question was: Could Dad help solve the case?

THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF ADAM WALSH: The medical examiner misidentified the body. The cops blamed the wrong suspect. What really happened to Adam Walsh?

 In 1981, America was captivated -- and horrified -- by the kidnapping and reported murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh. Florida police ultimately identified the decapitated head of a found child as Adam, and implicated an out-of-town drifter as the murderer.

But something about the investigation was incomplete. And wrong. In his controversial two-book chronicle, journalist Arthur Jay Harris reveals that Walsh's kidnapper was actually the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, that the body found by police was misidentified, and that Adam Walsh is quite possibly -- even probably -- still alive.

THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF ADAM WALSH IS A TWO-BOOK SERIES

ALSO READ BOOK TWO: FINDING THE VICTIM

Six-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared from the toy department of a Sears in Hollywood, Florida, in 1981. Two weeks later and 125 miles away, a child’s severed head was found and identified as Adam. His parents, Reve and John Walsh, deeply grieved and dedicated their lives going forward to helping find other parents’ children who had gone missing. In 2008, 27 years later, police announced at a live televised press conference that they’d finally solved the case, blaming the kidnapping and murder on a by-then dead man. Because of that there could never be a trial.

All of that is true. But virtually everything else that you think you know about this famous case is wrong.

In 1983, 25 years earlier, that suspect had volunteered a confession that he’d killed Adam Walsh. But the police then had deeply investigated his story and couldn’t verify anything he’d said, not even that he’d been within 400 miles of the area. In 2008, when a new Hollywood Police chief closed the case, he admitted they had no new evidence.

What the new chief didn’t mention was that by then he had six separate police witnesses who’d been at the shopping mall on that day in 1981, and had since spoken up. Most had seen Adam; all had seen a much more likely suspect -- Jeffrey Dahmer. A microfilmed Miami police report the author found and had previously shown to the Walsh detectives proved that Dahmer was then living just a few miles from the Sears. Dahmer’s boss told the author that the prompt for the report was that Dahmer had told him he’d just found the body of a homeless man behind the store. Yes, bad luck, Jeffrey Dahmer found a dead body. 1981 was 10 years before Milwaukee police found severed heads in Dahmer’s refrigerator and arrested him as a serial killer. He said he’d killed his first victim in 1978.

Even worse, it turned out that the identification of the child as Adam had been slapdash and suspect. The Walsh parents weren’t present for it; John Walsh wrote years later that he’d never viewed even photographs of the remains. A family friend had been present for the ID, and Walsh wrote that his first impression had been that it wasn’t Adam. Because the remains were only a severed head, there were no fingerprints, and forensic DNA was still years away. The pathologist making the identification did it strictly by teeth, but he admitted he wasn’t a dental expert. Dental X-rays, when available, are a standard for comparison, but he didn’t have them. He also had a forensic dentist available but never consulted him. A medical examiner in another regional office performed the autopsy, but he also never consulted a forensic dentist.

Worse again, that medical examiner never wrote and submitted an autopsy report, as state laws and guidelines require. That perhaps never happens. Had police ever charged any live defendant with murder in this case, prosecutors in court would have been handcuffed to prove that the dead child was Adam. The case likely then would have ended.

Why all the misdirection? Did Dahmer take Adam? Is Adam even dead, is that someone else’s child? Could Adam be… alive?

Fifteen years of continuing research. Author’s story appeared in 2007 on ABC Primetime, and in 2010 on a Sunday front page of The Miami Herald.

“I never, and to my knowledge no one in the office, prepared a report on the head of Adam Walsh.”

-- 2010 email from Dr. Ronald K. Wright, in 1981 the Chief Broward County Medical Examiner, who performed the autopsy on the remains of the child previously identified as Adam Walsh, when asked if he had a personal copy of Adam Walsh’s autopsy report that neither the Medical Examiner’s Office nor the police had.

“There’s no way in hell.”

-- A Florida forensic dentist, viewing the teeth in both the last picture of Adam Walsh and the remains of the child identified as him, responding to the question of whether they could be the same child. Other forensic dentists shown the same material agreed.

Deep into the then biggest-dollar divorce in the history of Broward County, Florida, in which she’s winning everything so far, Mrs. Luskin gets an unexpected flower delivery of cheap azaleas at the mansion she’d kicked her husband out of after he’d had an affair with his high-school girlfriend. Behind the pastel pistils comes a gleaming silver pistol. The man screams it’s a robbery, he just wants her money. She tells police that he hit her in the head with the gun, but federal prosecutors later insist she was shot and grazed by a bullet, although no bullet was ever found and the room was mirrored on four sides. On that hinges the husband’s conviction for attempted murder-for-hire conspiracy. He goes to prison for 15 years and marries his high-school girlfriend, but was he guilty? It turns out that the prosecutors at trial had held back evidence proving their star witness had crucially lied. But were prosecutors otherwise basically right, only that someone else who they hadn’t charged -- not the husband -- was behind it all?

Flowers for Mrs. Luskin was originally published by Avon Books.

Story appeared as the cover story of newspaper magazines in The Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sentinel.

 

A Millionaire Has An Affair. His Wife Throws Him Out. She Gets The Mansion, The Business, The Cash. His Parents' Business. His Parents' Cash. She Gets Shot And Doesn't Know It. The Bullet Disappears. He Goes To Prison. His Parents Flee The Country. He Weds The Other Woman Behind Bars. Has There Ever Been A Case Like This?
--The Miami Herald

"Flower delivery for Marie Luskin!"

That was a curious surprise. Her husband Paul used to send her flowers all the time, but those days had passed forever. A year and a half before, following Paul's affair with another woman, Marie kicked him out of the house his parents had helped them buy--the biggest house in Emerald Hills, which was the best section of Hollywood, Florida--then filed for divorce.

And what a spectacular divorce. If nastiness could be judged quantitatively, the civil war of the Luskins was the meanest divorce Broward County had ever seen.

"Who is it from?"
"There's no name on the card."
"What florist are you from?"
"Emerald Hills Florist."

Still apprehensive, she cracked open the wooden door just enough to see him. With a sudden incongruous movement, the man stuck his foot in the doorway and thrust the flowers at her with his left hand. As she reached to take them, he stuck a silver pistol in her face.

Marie started shrieking uncontrollably. She tried to run inside, but the man grabbed her, one arm around her neck, grasping for her mouth with his hand. The flower pot fell to the black-and-white marble parquet floor and shattered, pink petals scattering.

"Shut up! Shut up!" he yelled, closing the door behind him. "I'm not going to hurt you. Shut the hell up, stop screaming!"

She finally stopped when his hand formed a gag hard around her mouth, and she realized the gun was at her temple. She couldn't stop looking at the gun, which framed his cruel eyes.

Then the man made an odd demand:

"Give me all your cash! Give me all your cash! Show me where you keep your cash! I'm not going to hurt you, but if you don't cooperate, I'm gonna blow your brains out!"

With the man clenching her long blond hair, the gun to the side of her head, she led him upstairs to a small room where she showed him a hundred-dollar bill.

"Where's all your cash! Give me all your cash!"

"It's in the bank!" she whined. "It's in the bank! This is it. This is all I have at home, I keep all my money in the bank!"

As the crescendo of voices in the Luskin house rose to a climax, exactly what happened next remains in dispute. Marie fell to the floor, a terrible pain in the back of her head. She didn't lose consciousness, but pretended to. Meekly, she opened her eyes and noticed there was blood all over her. She thought she was going to die...

The man had left without taking anything. The issue would become, had she been hit like she thought, or shot? That would seem to be the difference between a robbery and an attempt to kill her that might have descended from her husband.

Doctors found three minuscule pieces of lead in her bloody scalp. If they were fragments from a bullet, could she have been shot without realizing it? Or were they from the gun or whatever it was that hit her, or the decorative metal hair barrette she was wearing that had broken, separating its clip that had been held together by lead-based solder?

Also, if a gun was fired in that small room, where was the rest of the bullet? The police didn't find it. And why hadn't it shattered one of the room's three full-length mirrors?

That would become the story's essential mystery, and the answer would determine whether Paul and his alleged accomplices would go to prison. It must have been a shot, a federal court jury determined, because they convicted all four of attempted murder-for-hire.

Doubting it, true crime author Arthur Jay Harris went on an Odyssey through the heights and depths of Miami and Baltimore.

To the very last page, what he found kept surprising him.

A feature film, SPEED KILLS, starring John Travolta, based on my book, will premiere in Fall 2018.

Watch the trailer:

https://www.screendaily.com/news/first-look-trailer-john-travolta-in-speedboat-drama-speed-kills-exclusive/5129868.article

The most famous speedboat racer, the creator of the famous Cigarette fast boats, the boat of choice for drug smugglers, is murdered in Miami in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses. The case takes police ten years to solve -- and leaves questions to whether they got it right.

Speed Kills was originally published by Avon Books.

"Ocean racing superstar Don Aronow loved it when writers called him a living legend. His life of adventure is well known. It is his death that baffles police.

"He was afraid of nothing, no one. In his final hour, when a stranger spoke to him in riddles and talked about killing, Aronow laughed. He felt no fear, until he lowered the window of his white Mercedes and looked death in the face. And then it was too late."
-- Edna Buchanan in The Miami Herald

Bordering a canal leading to Biscayne Bay, a short dead-end stretch of Northeast 188th Street in Miami was the crossroad of the Americas in the mid-1980s for the biggest drug smugglers into the U.S.; the guys who ripped off the drug smugglers; the biggest South American drug suppliers; competing federal agencies investigating major drug trafficking and money laundering; the CIA, covertly advancing the Contra war against Central American land reform (which they called Cuban-sponsored communism); some of the highest national politicians in the country--and what attracted them all there, the most famous fast-boat companies in the world.

On that splashy boulevard of (wet) dreams factories built marine magazine-ad ultra-sleek gleaming speedboats ostensibly for racers, royalty to show off on the Côte d'Azur, and wealthy divorced or divorcing middle-age overweight men to pick up South Florida's sun-soaked hot chicks in string bikinis (while the rest of us unwashed wondered how they did it), but the boat builders' real business was fueling an arms race between smugglers, who purchased them for cash, and Drug War feds to catch smugglers.

The storied creator of the quantum-leap faster Cigarette boat, against which all other "penis" boats were measured, as well as a two-time powerboat racing world champion and the personification of a sport in which people crazily risked their lives and bodies to win--not to mention a wicked ladies' man to boot, Don Aronow was shot and killed in broad daylight in front of his factory in 1987. Police found they didn't just have a murder mystery--they had Murder on the Orient Express.

FEBRUARY 3, 1987
USA Racing Team, Miami, Florida

Someone entered the front door and walked in front of salesman Jerry Engelman's desk. He asked to speak with Don Aronow, then looked right at him without recognizing him.

"What do you want?" Aronow said.

"I've been trying to get ahold of you," the man said. He said he worked for a very rich man, with an Italian surname, who wanted to make an appointment to buy a boat.

"I never heard of him," Aronow answered.

Engelman could tell something else was happening, and he thought Aronow was trying to find out what.

Then the conversation got weird. He was proud of his boss, he said. "He picked me up off the street when I was sixteen and took care of me. I'd even kill for my boss."

For the moment, none of the observers thought anything more of it. Minutes later, Aronow drove his new 1987 white Mercedes 560 sports coupe across the street, found Mike Britton, a marine supplier, and asked if he could help him at his new house.

Driving out of his parking space forward, with Aronow behind him, Britton saw a dark Lincoln Town Car with tinted windows, about ten yards away, facing east as Britton was about to head west. The driver's window was down, and Britton could see the driver looking at him.

At their closest, when they passed, they were just a few feet apart, keeping eye contact the entire time. Then Britton drove on, about fifty yards.

Then he heard gunshots.

Britton finished parking his truck, then raced back toward Aronow. In a hurry, the Lincoln passed him, going west. It had turned around.

By the time Britton got to the car, he found Aronow's driver's side window down, the automatic transmission in neutral, and Aronow's foot pressed against the accelerator like a rock, forcing the engine to rev at its most shrill. Apparently, Aronow had stopped to kibitz with his killer.

Three years into the investigation of a horrific homicide case, a suburban home invasion murder of a wife and mother and point-blank shootings of her infant, husband, and father-in-law, the prosecutor slowly realizes that he and the police have been totally wrong about one of his capital murder defendants and reverses course.

Until Proven Innocent was originally published by Avon Books.

Story seen on the series True Convictions on Investigative Discovery, in January 2018.

https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/true-conviction/full-episodes/the-final-call

The Miami Herald:
"[Brian] Cavanagh called on his father for help. Three decades ago, as a New York City detective, Thomas Cavanagh became famous clearing a man accused of a Manhattan murder. His work led to the original Kojak TV movie and subsequent series.

Thomas Cavanagh built a reputation for cracking tough cases. He continued to track down elusive killers even after he retired and moved to South Florida. More than 15 years after he retired, Cavanagh used his legendary skills to help find a man who murdered a Davie woman during a home-invasion robbery.

Working together to crack a Davie murder case, the real-life Kojak and his prosecutor son..."

Globe Magazine:
REAL-LIFE KOJAK CATCHES A KILLER
He quits retirement to free innocent man

"A former New York City cop whose exploits inspired TV's Kojak has come out of retirement to solve a baffling murder mystery.

Super-sleuth Thomas Cavanagh, 79, cleared the prime suspect in the case -- and fingered the real suspect.

Cavanagh was sunning himself by the pool at his Florida home when his son Brian, a prosecutor in Fort Lauderdale, called.

"Dad, I have a problem with this case," Brian said. "What should I do?"

PHOTOGRAPHS INCLUDED IN FRONT. CLICK "LOOK INSIDE"

UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT
A TRUE STORY

Breathless, a woman's call to 911 interrupted a quiet night in the horse country suburbs:
"I'm stabbed to death. Please!"
Did somebody stab you? asked the operator.
"Yes! And my husband, my baby!"

Within minutes, officers arrived at her remote ranch house but didn't know whether an assailant was still present. Announcing themselves, they got no response, then entered anyway, guns drawn, and began a dangerous, tense search, room by room. Then they heard a baby's scream. Although the house wasn't yet fully cleared, they followed the wailing to the master bedroom where they found, tied and gagged, her husband and elderly father-in-law. They and their 18-month-old all had been shot point-blank in the head--but were still alive.

Shocked, the officers called out to bring in paramedics, who had to crawl through the living room because the house still had not been completely cleared. Hurrying, and contrary to usual procedures, the officers spread out. One found a locked closet door; four officers gathered, and with guns ready, one of them kicked it in. Behind it they found their 911 caller--still holding the phone. "Oh, shit," said the kicker.

In the history of Davie, Florida, there had never been such a savage and sociopathic crime, and police and homicide prosecutor Brian Cavanagh were determined to resolve it. For three years, they had two suspects under surveillance, then arrest. Both faced the death penalty. But as the legal case progressed, Cavanagh began to doubt that the defendants were partners. Possibly one had been a victim of the other, as well.

In 1963, Cavanagh's dad, Tom, a Manhattan lieutenant of detectives, had a famous case called the "Career Girls Murder," two women in their twenties found horribly mutilated in their Upper East Side apartment. The newspapers played the story big, a random killer on the loose, meanwhile Tom and his precinct detectives had been unable to solve it.

Months after the murder, Brooklyn detectives declared the case solved; they'd taken a signed confession from a man with a low IQ. Their additional proof was a photo in his wallet; it was of one of the girls he killed, he said. The man quickly recanted, although that didn't much matter to the Brooklyn detectives.

As soon as he heard some of the details of the confession, Tom disbelieved it; the man didn't fit the profile. Needing to work quietly under the most difficult of circumstances, Tom sent out his own detectives to do the impossible: identify the girl in the picture. It had been taken in some sort of park setting. They first showed it to botanists, who recognized the type of trees in the background and where they grew. From that they could guess at where the park was. Targeting nearby high schools, the detectives then showed the photo to teachers to see if any could recognize the girl.

One did. When they found the girl, she asked, "Where did you get that?"

After all that impossibly good work, Tom and his detectives caught a break and found the real killer of the Career Girls. Until then, Tom said, he hadn't believed that police could make such mistakes. Afterward, as a result, New York State outlawed the death penalty. As well, this remarkable story inspired a TV movie and series starring a character playing Cavanagh's role. His name was Lt. Theo Kojak.

As a child, Brian Cavanagh had watched his dad's anguish throughout that situation. Now, he had a case that was remarkably similar--except that he was potentially on the wrong side. Once his confidence level in the guilt of one of his defendants dropped to a level of precarious uncertainty, Brian was in no-man's land. He couldn't continue with a prosecution he no longer believed in, nor could he easily admit he'd been wrong for so long. While his dad was still around to watch, Brian approached his own moment of courage. Could he prove that he was the equal of his father?

THIS SPECIAL SINGLE EDITION IS A CONDENSED VERSION OF BOOKS ONE AND TWO, FOR BRIEFER READING:
Also available on Google Play: are the full-length Books One and Two
 

Six-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared from the toy department of a Sears in Hollywood, Florida, in 1981. Two weeks later and 125 miles away, a child’s severed head was found and identified as Adam. His parents, Reve and John Walsh, deeply grieved and dedicated their lives going forward to helping find other parents’ children who had gone missing. In 2008, 27 years later, police announced at a live televised press conference that they’d finally solved the case, blaming the kidnapping and murder on a by-then dead man. Because of that there could never be a trial.

All of that is true. But virtually everything else that you think you know about this famous case is wrong.

In 1983, 25 years earlier, that suspect had volunteered a confession that he’d killed Adam Walsh. But the police then had deeply investigated his story and couldn’t verify anything he’d said, not even that he’d been within 400 miles of the area. In 2008, when a new Hollywood Police chief closed the case, he admitted they had no new evidence.

What the new chief didn’t mention was that by then he had six separate police witnesses who’d been at the shopping mall on that day in 1981, and had since spoken up. Most had seen Adam; all had seen a much more likely suspect -- Jeffrey Dahmer. A microfilmed Miami police report the author found and had previously shown to the Walsh detectives proved that Dahmer was then living just a few miles from the Sears. Dahmer’s boss told the author that the prompt for the report was that Dahmer had told him he’d just found the body of a homeless man behind the store. Yes, bad luck, Jeffrey Dahmer found a dead body. 1981 was 10 years before Milwaukee police found severed heads in Dahmer’s refrigerator and arrested him as a serial killer. He said he’d killed his first victim in 1978.

Even worse, it turned out that the identification of the child as Adam had been slapdash and suspect. The Walsh parents weren’t present for it; John Walsh wrote years later that he’d never viewed even photographs of the remains. A family friend had been present for the ID, and Walsh wrote that his first impression had been that it wasn’t Adam. Because the remains were only a severed head, there were no fingerprints, and forensic DNA was still years away. The pathologist making the identification did it strictly by teeth, but he admitted he wasn’t a dental expert. Dental X-rays, when available, are a standard for comparison, but he didn’t have them. He also had a forensic dentist available but never consulted him. A medical examiner in another regional office performed the autopsy, but he also never consulted a forensic dentist.

Worse again, that medical examiner never wrote and submitted an autopsy report, as state laws and guidelines require. That perhaps never happens. Had police ever charged any live defendant with murder in this case, prosecutors in court would have been handcuffed to prove that the dead child was Adam. The case likely then would have ended.

Why all the misdirection? Did Dahmer take Adam? Is Adam even dead, is that someone else’s child? Could Adam be… alive?

Fifteen years of continuing research. Author’s story appeared in 2007 on ABC Primetime, and in 2010 on a Sunday front page of The Miami Herald. 

“I never, and to my knowledge no one in the office, prepared a report on the head of Adam Walsh.”

-- 2010 email from Dr. Ronald K. Wright, in 1981 the Chief Broward County Medical Examiner, who performed the autopsy on the remains of the child previously identified as Adam Walsh, when asked if he had a personal copy of Adam Walsh’s autopsy report that neither the Medical Examiner’s Office nor the police had.

“There’s no way in hell.”

-- A Florida forensic dentist, viewing the teeth in both the last picture of Adam Walsh and the remains of the child identified as him, responding to the question of whether they could be the same child. Other forensic dentists shown the same material agreed.

FLOWERS FOR MRS. LUSKIN: The divorce was vicious, but at least it hadn't turned deadly. Then came the flowers.

At the best house in the best neighborhood in Hollywood, Florida, Marie Luskin answered her front door and saw a deliveryman holding a floral arrangement. From behind the leaves and petals he pulled out a pistol and pointed it at her. At the time, she was embroiled in the biggest divorce in the county's history.
But why didn't the gunman shoot and kill her? According to Marie, he demanded all her money and then hit her with the gun. According to the prosecutor, he shot her. But the jury agreed on one thing: that Marie's wealthy, estranged husband, Paul, was clearly behind a murder-for-hire. Then the truth came out.

THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF ADAM WALSH

            The famous missing child case of Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old last seen at a Sears in a shopping mall in Hollywood, Florida, in July 1981 was the worst nightmare imaginable. Two weeks later, a child's severed head was found and identified as Adam. No one has ever been arrested for the crime.
            For the most part, the case's narration has been told by the victims, Adam's parents Reve and John Walsh. However, there has been another voice, independent investigative journalist and author of five True Crime books about Florida, Arthur Jay Harris, who has continued to write about it for two decades, and has worked on it with ABC News, The Miami Herald, and others. The deeply-researched story he tells disputes almost everything that everyone in the public has been led to believe.
            IN BOOK ONE, Harris shows that the taker of Adam was most likely not the drifter Ottis Toole, as police now say, but rather the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was arrested ten years later with eleven severed heads in his apartment. Harris documented him by a police report living near Hollywood as a transient about when Adam disappeared. That report had him supposedly finding a dead body in an alley behind where he worked. The report referred to a meter and storage room steps away where Harris and ABC News found blood droplets rising up a wall next to a lumberman's axe and a sledgehammer. Was this Dahmer's doing?
            Further, Dahmer was identified by seven police witnesses who said they saw him at the mall with or near Adam when he was taken. One of those witnesses said he saw him throw Adam into a blue van and get away. Where Dahmer worked there was a blue van, easily and often taken for personal use, without permission. Early on, a blue getaway van was Hollywood's first, best clue.
            Also, a police composite drawing of a suspect in an attempted kidnapping of a similar-age child at a Sears in the next county, two weeks before Adam's disappearance, closely matches a mug shot of Dahmer taken a year later. The similarity was confirmed by the near-victim, a witness who helped make the drawing, and a police artist Harris consulted. The photo comparison is in the book.
            IN BOOK TWO, more shocking, Harris shows that all the official files are incredibly missing the most customary documents that would prove the identification of the found child who was said to be Adam. Among the documents missing are the autopsy report, a forensic dental report (considering that the ID was strictly based on a tooth comparison), and Adam's dental chart and dental X-rays. An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed his finding.
            In fact, the ID was not only shoddy and inadequate but is overwhelmingly likely wrong. In Adam's last photo he was clearly missing both his top front teeth. A police crime scene photo, never before published, shows the found child had a mostly-in buck tooth -- a top left front tooth. Harris consulted a number of pediatric and forensic dental and medical examiner experts who confirmed the obvious: there wasn't enough time for Adam to have grown it in that far.
            All that would have been exposed at a court trial -- but more than 30 years after Adam's disappearance, there has never been one.
            Yet another remarkable finding Harris made is that more than 20 years after the incident, the Walshes consented to police forensic testing that presumed a doubt about the found child's real identity.
           Did police end the search for Adam too soon? Could Adam still be alive? In fact not so impossible, Harris found...

THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF ADAM WALSH IS A TWO-BOOK SERIES

ALSO READ BOOK ONE: FINDING THE KILLER

Six-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared from the toy department of a Sears in Hollywood, Florida, in 1981. Two weeks later and 125 miles away, a child’s severed head was found and identified as Adam. His parents, Reve and John Walsh, deeply grieved and dedicated their lives going forward to helping find other parents’ children who had gone missing. In 2008, 27 years later, police announced at a live televised press conference that they’d finally solved the case, blaming the kidnapping and murder on a by-then dead man. Because of that there could never be a trial.

All of that is true. But virtually everything else that you think you know about this famous case is wrong.

In 1983, 25 years earlier, that suspect had volunteered a confession that he’d killed Adam Walsh. But the police then had deeply investigated his story and couldn’t verify anything he’d said, not even that he’d been within 400 miles of the area. In 2008, when a new Hollywood Police chief closed the case, he admitted they had no new evidence.

What the new chief didn’t mention was that by then he had six separate police witnesses who’d been at the shopping mall on that day in 1981, and had since spoken up. Most had seen Adam; all had seen a much more likely suspect -- Jeffrey Dahmer. A microfilmed Miami police report the author found and had previously shown to the Walsh detectives proved that Dahmer was then living just a few miles from the Sears. Dahmer’s boss told the author that the prompt for the report was that Dahmer had told him he’d just found the body of a homeless man behind the store. Yes, bad luck, Jeffrey Dahmer found a dead body. 1981 was 10 years before Milwaukee police found severed heads in Dahmer’s refrigerator and arrested him as a serial killer. He said he’d killed his first victim in 1978.

Even worse, it turned out that the identification of the child as Adam had been slapdash and suspect. The Walsh parents weren’t present for it; John Walsh wrote years later that he’d never viewed even photographs of the remains. A family friend had been present for the ID, and Walsh wrote that his first impression had been that it wasn’t Adam. Because the remains were only a severed head, there were no fingerprints, and forensic DNA was still years away. The pathologist making the identification did it strictly by teeth, but he admitted he wasn’t a dental expert. Dental X-rays, when available, are a standard for comparison, but he didn’t have them. He also had a forensic dentist available but never consulted him. A medical examiner in another regional office performed the autopsy, but he also never consulted a forensic dentist.

Worse again, that medical examiner never wrote and submitted an autopsy report, as state laws and guidelines require. That perhaps never happens. Had police ever charged any live defendant with murder in this case, prosecutors in court would have been handcuffed to prove that the dead child was Adam. The case likely then would have ended.

Why all the misdirection? Did Dahmer take Adam? Is Adam even dead, is that someone else’s child? Could Adam be… alive?

Fifteen years of continuing research. Author’s story appeared in 2007 on ABC Primetime, and in 2010 on a Sunday front page of The Miami Herald.

 “I never, and to my knowledge no one in the office, prepared a report on the head of Adam Walsh.”

-- 2010 email from Dr. Ronald K. Wright, in 1981 the Chief Broward County Medical Examiner, who performed the autopsy on the remains of the child previously identified as Adam Walsh, when asked if he had a personal copy of Adam Walsh’s autopsy report that neither the Medical Examiner’s Office nor the police had.

“There’s no way in hell.”

-- A Florida forensic dentist, viewing the teeth in both the last picture of Adam Walsh and the remains of the child identified as him, responding to the question of whether they could be the same child. Other forensic dentists shown the same material agreed.

A feature film, SPEED KILLS, based on the book and starring John Travolta, has been completed and will premiere in 2018.

SPEED KILLS

He built the fastest boats -- for royalty, the rich, spies, smugglers, Feds and a former U.S. President. Then came six shots.

It was the era of cool shades and Miami Vice, and Don Aronow's Cigarette boats were the symbol of the city's sun-drenched decadence. But faster than his speed boats was Aronow himself -- in races behind the throttle, in business deals and on the town with his collection of stunning women. And then, in broad daylight, someone in a dark Lincoln gunned him down.

Who had Don double-dealt? A dope smuggler? The Mafia? The husband or boyfriend of one of his many paramours? And after ten years of dogged work, did Miami police get it right -- or were they dead wrong?

THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF ADAM WALSH

            The famous missing child case of Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old last seen at a Sears in a shopping mall in Hollywood, Florida, in July 1981 was the worst nightmare imaginable. Two weeks later, a child's severed head was found and identified as Adam. No one has ever been arrested for the crime.
            For the most part, the case's narration has been told by the victims, Adam's parents Reve and John Walsh. However, there has been another voice, independent investigative journalist and author of five True Crime books about Florida, Arthur Jay Harris, who has continued to write about it for two decades, and has worked on it with ABC News, The Miami Herald, and others. The deeply-researched story he tells disputes almost everything that everyone in the public has been led to believe.
            IN BOOK ONE, Harris shows that the taker of Adam was most likely not the drifter Ottis Toole, as police now say, but rather the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was arrested ten years later with eleven severed heads in his apartment. Harris documented him by a police report living near Hollywood as a transient about when Adam disappeared. That report had him supposedly finding a dead body in an alley behind where he worked. The report referred to a meter and storage room steps away where Harris and ABC News found blood droplets rising up a wall next to a lumberman's axe and a sledgehammer. Was this Dahmer's doing?
            Further, Dahmer was identified by seven police witnesses who said they saw him at the mall with or near Adam when he was taken. One of those witnesses said he saw him throw Adam into a blue van and get away. Where Dahmer worked there was a blue van, easily and often taken for personal use, without permission. Early on, a blue getaway van was Hollywood's first, best clue.
            Also, a police composite drawing of a suspect in an attempted kidnapping of a similar-age child at a Sears in the next county, two weeks before Adam's disappearance, closely matches a mug shot of Dahmer taken a year later. The similarity was confirmed by the near-victim, a witness who helped make the drawing, and a police artist Harris consulted. The photo comparison is in the book.
            IN BOOK TWO, more shocking, Harris shows that all the official files are incredibly missing the most customary documents that would prove the identification of the found child who was said to be Adam. Among the documents missing are the autopsy report, a forensic dental report (considering that the ID was strictly based on a tooth comparison), and Adam's dental chart and dental X-rays. An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed his finding.
            In fact, the ID was not only shoddy and inadequate but is overwhelmingly likely wrong. In Adam's last photo he was clearly missing both his top front teeth. A police crime scene photo, never before published, shows the found child had a mostly-in buck tooth -- a top left front tooth. Harris consulted a number of pediatric and forensic dental and medical examiner experts who confirmed the obvious: there wasn't enough time for Adam to have grown it in that far.
            All that would have been exposed at a court trial -- but more than 30 years after Adam's disappearance, there has never been one.
            Yet another remarkable finding Harris made is that more than 20 years after the incident, the Walshes consented to police forensic testing that presumed a doubt about the found child's real identity.
           Did police end the search for Adam too soon? Could Adam still be alive? In fact not so impossible, Harris found...

A 2018 documentary about the story in the book UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT aired on the series premiere of the show TRUE CONVICTION on INVESTIGATIVE DISCOVERY

https://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/true-conviction/full-episodes/the-final-call

UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT
The prosecutor was no longer sure both murder defendants were guilty. So he asked his dad -- the real-life Kojak.

A mother's dying, gasping call to 911: "My husband! My baby!" In her secluded ranch house, she'd been stabbed with a kitchen knife. Her husband, infant and elderly father-in-law had all been shot in the head, point-blank.

For three years, police had two suspects under surveillance, then arrest. Both faced the death penalty. But prosecutor Brian Cavanagh began to doubt that the defendants were partners. So he consulted with his father, a retired NYPD cop whose reputation for savvy sleuthing had inspired the creation of one of the most beloved characters in television history. Now the question was: Could Dad help solve the case?

THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF ADAM WALSH

            The famous missing child case of Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old last seen at a Sears in a shopping mall in Hollywood, Florida, in July 1981 was the worst nightmare imaginable. Two weeks later, a child's severed head was found and identified as Adam. No one has ever been arrested for the crime.
            For the most part, the case's narration has been told by the victims, Adam's parents Reve and John Walsh. However, there has been another voice, independent investigative journalist and author of five True Crime books about Florida, Arthur Jay Harris, who has continued to write about it for two decades, and has worked on it with ABC News, The Miami Herald, and others. The deeply-researched story he tells disputes almost everything that everyone in the public has been led to believe.
            IN BOOK ONE, Harris shows that the taker of Adam was most likely not the drifter Ottis Toole, as police now say, but rather the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was arrested ten years later with eleven severed heads in his apartment. Harris documented him by a police report living near Hollywood as a transient about when Adam disappeared. That report had him supposedly finding a dead body in an alley behind where he worked. The report referred to a meter and storage room steps away where Harris and ABC News found blood droplets rising up a wall next to a lumberman's axe and a sledgehammer. Was this Dahmer's doing?
            Further, Dahmer was identified by seven police witnesses who said they saw him at the mall with or near Adam when he was taken. One of those witnesses said he saw him throw Adam into a blue van and get away. Where Dahmer worked there was a blue van, easily and often taken for personal use, without permission. Early on, a blue getaway van was Hollywood's first, best clue.
            IN BOOK TWO, Harris shows that all the official files are incredibly missing the most customary documents that would prove the ID of the found child who was said to be Adam. Among the documents missing are the autopsy report, a forensic dental report (considering that the ID was strictly based on a tooth comparison), and Adam's dental chart and dental X-rays. An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed his finding.
            In fact, the ID was not only shoddy and inadequate but is overwhelmingly likely wrong. In Adam's last photo he was clearly missing both his top front teeth. A police crime scene photo, never before published, shows the found child had a mostly-in buck tooth -- a top left front tooth. Harris consulted a number of pediatric and forensic dental and medical examiner experts who confirmed the obvious: there wasn't enough time for Adam to have grown it in that far.
            All that would have been exposed at a court trial -- but more than 30 years after Adam's disappearance, there has never been one.
           Did police end the search for Adam too soon? Could Adam still be alive? In fact not so impossible, Harris found...

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