Miami author, Arthur Jay Harris, says that after pouring over pages and pages of material concerning the death of six year old Adam Walsh in 1981, he is convinced that Jeffrey Dahmer was his killer. Mr. Harris did not come to this startling conclusion by wild speculation. His premise is supported by the statements of two men who claim to have actually seen Jeffrey Dahmer in the shopping mall where little Adam was abducted.
One man, Willis Morgan, not only claims to have seen Dahmer in the mall on that day, but also says that Dahmer actually spoke to him. Morgan says he was shopping when he sensed he was being watched. He looked up and saw Dahmer who said “Hi, there. Nice day, isn’t it?’ At this time, Jeffrey Dahmer was living in Florida, 20 minutes away from the mall. Morgan continued to say that he didn’t trust Dahmer’s dirty and disheveled appearance and became suspicious. Morgan followed Dahmer to see what he was up to but lost him in the very same toy department at Sears that little Adam disappeared from. There is, however, other evidence that indicates that Adam had already left the toy department because he had been instructed to do so, along with some other boys, by a 17 year old security guard.
A second man, Bill Bowen, also says he saw Dahmer in the mall that day headed toward a blue van with a little boy in tow who was insisting he didn’t want to go with Dahmer. Bowen says that Dahmer tossed the boy in the van and sped off. At the time, Bowen thought the two were related, but after Adam’s disappearance was made public, he claims he did report what he saw to the Hollywood police. Further Investigation into Dahmer’s then place of employment by author Harris revealed that Dahmer did have access to a blue van .
Mr. Morgan also says he reported his suspicions to the police in 1981 and both men went back to the police in 1991 when Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes in Wisconsin became nationwide news because they both recognized Dahmer’s picture as the man they saw in the shopping mall. At this time, they were both told there was no record of the information they initially provided in 1981. Jeffrey Dahmer was questioned as to whether he had anything to do with the Walsh case, but he denied it.
Arthur Jay Harris discussed the entire matter on Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees on February 4, 2007. Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz, and former FBI agent Neil Purtell, both of whom conducted interviews with Jeffrey Dahmer when he was alive, joined in the discussion.
Agent Purtell also believes that Dahmer is guilty of this crime. He bases that on the fact that when he asked Dahmer if he did it, Dahmer denied it using the words, “Honest to God.” Purtell just didn’t get the feeling that Dahmer was being honest. Arthur Jay Harris was quick to point out that Dahmer was an experienced and convincing liar when he wanted to be. No one is apt to forget that Dahmer successfully convinced the police that he was simply having a lover’s quarrel with one of his victims who was actually trying to escape.
Dr. Dietz doesn’t believe that Jeffrey Dahmer is the culprit. His position is that children who had not yet reached puberty held no interest for Dahmer. Dr. Dietz actually watched pornographic videos with Dahmer and, he says, he let Dahmer have control of the remote so that Dahmer could start and stop the tape to show Dr. Dietz exactly what type of men appealed to him. Men with muscular shoulders and lean waists were Jeffrey’s preferred prey, although author Harris pointed out that, in 1981, witness, Willis Morgan, was such a man. Harris depicted Morgan’s build as akin to a Chippendale dancer at the time. Harris believes that Dahmer was angry that Morgan rejected his advances, and kidnapped Adam as a substitute for what he couldn’t have. Dr. Dietz rejected this theory, saying that Dahmer’s modus operandi was seduction. Dahmer did not and probably wasn’t able to overpower the men that he murdered. Instead he lured them to his apartment where he drugged and murdered them.
Adam’s father, John Walsh, channeled his grief over the loss of his son into becoming an advocate for victims’ rights. He lobbied tirelessly for missing children, which helped lead to the formation of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). He was later approached to be the host of television program America’s Most Wanted, and Mr. Walsh has done everything in his power both to find Adam’s killer and to help get criminals off the street.
In July of 2006, President Bush signed The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which institutes a national database of convicted child molesters and increases penalties for sexual and violent offenses against children.
John Walsh had this to say: “Even though it’s a cold case, people are coming forward who are claiming one thing, who are saying we were not taken seriously back 25, 26 years ago. So I think they have to look at this case.”