July 27, 2015 was the thirty-fourth anniversary of America's most famous child abduction case: the case of Adam Walsh. Finally, Adam may get closure -- but it won't come through the investigative efforts of the Hollywood Police Department (HPD)
At the urging of Detective Joe Matthews, the HPD closed the case in 2008 by pinning Adam's abduction and murder on a dead sycophantic serial confessor named Ottis Toole, despite the fact that Toole had long since been eliminated as a suspect by all the original investigators. Although HPD Police Chief Chadwick Wagner said he decided to close the case before he accepted Matthews's report, there are no investigative or closing reports to show that the HPD did an investigation.
Detective Matthews's conclusion that Ottis Toole was the culprit was made without him finding the need to use due diligence and call any of the witnesses that were at the Hollywood Mall when six-year-old Adam was abducted. There were many witnesses on that fateful day, and it wasn't Ottis Toole they saw lurking near Adam.
Timothy Pottenburgh saw a man he later recognized as Jeffrey Dahmer standing in the toy department at Sears, where Adam was waiting for his mother. He also saw Dahmer in the north parking lot retrieving the blue van and driving wildly to the garden side west entrance of the mall. It was Timothy's statement that initiated the original BOLO for a blue van and suspect composite.
Vernon Jones was playing video games with Adam in the Sears toy department just before Adam was abducted. The next day, his grandfather took Vernon to the HPD to report what he saw, but they never made it inside. When his grandfather explained to a white male police officer standing outside the station that he was there about that abduction, that officer spat a wad of tobacco on his shoe and said, "Boy, I ain't got time for this."
Phillip Lohr was very angry because an unattended blue van was parked near the Sears entrance, against the curb on the northbound traffic side, blocking traffic. Waiting to get around the van, he lost his parking space when another car pulled into it. When he finally found a parking space and went into Sears, he was even angrier because he had to walk around the van that was the cause of the problem. As he walked into the west entrance near the toy department, he passed a small boy being carried by a dirty young man. The boy was shouting, "You're not my daddy! You're not my daddy!" The man replied, "I'm taking you to your daddy!"
Willis Morgan had a bizarre encounter with Jeffrey Dahmer in Radio Shack and saw Dahmer walk into the Sears toy department just moments before Adam was abducted.
Denise Smith had an encounter with Jeffrey Dahmer in the same Sears on Monday July 20, a week before Adam was abducted. Dahmer kept staring at her thirteen-year-old daughter, who had Down syndrome.
Janice Santamassino was upset because there was an "old beat-up blue van" parked illegally outside the west entrance of Sears, blocking traffic. She had to jam on her brakes in order not to hit it. Inside the toy department at Sears, a young boy wearing an oversized hat, shorts, and a striped shirt was playing a video game and even took time to explain to her daughter how to play. Janice later realized that the boy was Adam. Going through the toy department and heading into the mall, she passed the next toy aisle and noticed a man in the aisle. His head was down, and he seemed to be looking at or reading the label of a handheld toy. As she passed him, he looked up at her, and they locked eyes. Years later, when Jeffrey Dahmer's photo appeared in newspapers and television screens across the country, she recognized him as the man she had seen in Sears that day.
Jenny Warren, another witness to what happened at the mall that day, contacted police by phone in the early days after Adam's abduction, but didn't get any reply. Again, on October 30, 1995, Jennie called the HPD. Detective Mark Smith took the call, but she was dismissed when she refused to say that the man she saw was Ottis Toole. Jenny said she couldn't say it was Toole because it was the other guy, Jeffrey Dahmer.
Mia Taylor saw Jeffrey Dahmer on Sunday, the day before Adam's abduction, when he tried to abduct her nine-year-old brother. She saw him again standing next to the blue van when she left. Mia says, "The next day, Monday, July 27, 1981, we were again at the mall and saw the same man, wearing the same dirty clothes as the day before, talking to a child who I believe was Adam Walsh. He was really close to the kid, leaning over and talking to him." The little boy looked confused, and Mia didn't hear him say anything as he was taken by the hand and led away toward the west exit. As they were leaving the mall, her brother Joel asked his mother if he could stay with his friend whom he spoke to earlier--the child who Mia saw and believes to be Adam--however, she said, 'No, his dad is here now.'
"He was really close to the kid [Adam], leaning over and talking to him. He leaned down, took his hand by his fingertips, as he was talking to him." The little boy looked confused, and she didn't hear him say anything as he was led away to the left toward the west exit.
Now you will hear from all the witnesses, including the four witnesses who saw the blue van at the site where Adam's severed head was found. One of those witnesses saw a white male getting out of a blue van and taking something round out of a bucket and throwing it into the water three days before the severed head was discovered.
In addition to ignoring the witnesses' statements, the HPD also ignored key evidence: the meter room behind the store where Dahmer worked, a blanket spread out in the crawl space, blood spatter on a back wall described as being indicative of a homicide. Yet the police have refused to investigate.
Now everyone will be able to investigate Adam Walsh's abduction and murder because the author of "Frustrated Witness!" has set up a website www.JusticeForAdam.com where all the case files can be viewed and downloaded for free.
Author of "Frustrated Witness: The True Story of the ADAM WALSH Case and Police Misconduct"
Willis Morgan was born in Port Jefferson, Long Island, NY. He graduated from Bellport High School then went on to Suffolk County Community College before joining the United States Air Force as a Security Police Officer. In 1972, Willis moved to Miami and started working for the Miami Herald. Five years later, he became a supervisor in charge of the training program for the pressroom.
On July 27, 1981, Willis became involved in the Adam Walsh case after he had an encounter with one of America's most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, in a Radio Shack located in Hollywood, Florida. This was the same day that Adam Walsh was abducted. After being ignored by the Hollywood Police Department when he tried to tell them what happened, Willis spent the next three decades trying to find justice for Adam.
After the Hollywood Police Department closed the case on December 16, 2008, pinning Adam's murder on a serial confessor, Ottis Toole, Willis started tracking down other witnesses to find out where the police went wrong. It was also about that time Willis started writing his book "Frustrated Witness!" Willis wants the world to know it was not Ottis Toole that murdered Adam Walsh.
Websites: www.FrustratedWitness.com and www.JusticeForAdam.com
"Frustrated Witness: The True Story of the ADAM WALSH Case and Police Misconduct"
by Willis Morgan
Published Sept 24, 2015
Hardcover: 356 pages