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CNN Larry King Live
Interview With the Walsh Family
Aired July 27, 2006 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN WALSH, HOST "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": I don't know who would do this to a 6-year-old child. I can't conceive of it.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, exclusive, our most intense, emotional show yet with John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" and his family. Today marks the 25th anniversary of their murdered son Adam's abduction.
J. WALSH: My heart will be broken for the rest of my life.
KING: John and his wife Reve Walsh and their children were at the White House as the president signed into law the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act turning his personal tragedy into a powerful force for good and here with his family taking your calls next exclusive on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: We'll begin, they're all in Washington, with John for the first two segments, then John and his wife for two segments, and then the entire family for two more segments.
And then later in the program we'll speak with the prime minister of Turkey.
John Walsh, of course is the host of "America's Most Wanted." His son Adam was abducted exactly 25 years ago today and was found murdered weeks later. And today the president signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act at the White House.
What was it like for you, John?
J. WALSH: It was a great day, Larry, and I want to personally thank you for having me on so many times with Elizabeth Smart, Ed Smart, and continually supporting our efforts to get this bill passed.
It took almost ten years but I'll tell you this used to be a very, very sad day for this family, especially for Reve and the signing of the bill by the president today turned this day into a very, very positive day, very emotional but very -- wonderful day with lots of parents of missing and murdered children, lots of bipartisan support from Congress and it was just a -- it was -- it was quite an experience.
KING: In essence what does it say this bill?
J. WALSH: I think it's probably the toughest piece of child protection legislation passed in the last 25 years. It's going to change the way the criminal justice system deals with the rapists of our women and the molesters of our children.
It mandates that there be a National Sex Offender Registry that anybody can access, one in every single state. That takes care of the states that have weak ones or no registry.
It mandates 500 new marshals be on the streets, not assigned to look for drug dealers or bank robbers but to look specifically for sex offenders that are in violation of their probation. The Justice Department says there are 100,000 convicted sex offenders who have disappeared, fallen through the cracks, are in violation.
It mandates the collection of DNA of every convicted sex offender from today on. That will probably solve thousands of old, cold cases, rapes and molestations and probably free innocent people that are in jail now for a crime they didn't commit. Can you imagine being in jail for a molestation or rape you didn't commit?
And, it creates a national child abuse registry and mandates that every person who wants to be a foster parent from today on must go through a background check, so those kids going into foster care won't be exploited. It's a tough, good bill.
KING: Will Mark Lunsford in Florida, the father of Jessica, will this please him?
J. WALSH: Oh, he was there today and I've talked to him almost every week since Jessica has been murdered. This is something that he dreamed about. He came up to Washington a couple times with me.
And, you know, he can only look back with real pain in his heart because the man who killed Jessica was a 22 time convicted lowlife who was in parole violation, should have never been on the streets, not be 150 yards hiding in a trailer, stalking his daughter, and taking her in the middle of the night.
And, you know, this wouldn't have happened if this bill had been in place and I think Mark Lunsford is thrilled. He was there today and it was great to see him.
KING: John, any effect on Internet pornography?
J. WALSH: Absolutely. One of the big components of this bill is putting 25 more FBI -- I'm sorry, 35 more FBI agents involved in cyber crimes. Child pornography is a $4 billion a year business and most of it is traded and sold over the Internet. There are some wonderful provisions dealing with Internet pedophiles, the hiring of more prosecutors. It just really has some great components in this bill.
KING: John, take us back if you will 25 years ago today. Adam is six years old. He's with your wife. Where are they? What happened? J. WALSH: Well, this very day 25 years ago I kissed Adam goodbye and went to work and Reve went to the Sears store in the Hollywood mall to buy a lamp. She had told me she was going to buy a lamp.
Video games were brand new in 1981 and Adam was in the toy department with his mom. We always called him the little gentlemen. And he asked if he could watch these four boys, two black boys and two white boys, play each other in the video game. And he said "I'll stay right here, mommy."
And she knew that Adam was really wonderfully behaved, great, great mother, always picked him up from school, took him to school. She was three aisles away, gone for about four minutes, came back, no Adam.
Now, we didn't find out for years that an argument had broken out. A 17-year-old female security guard, untrained, who had just had an abortion the day before under medication, saw the argument and ordered white boys out this door thinking that little 6-year-old boy was with those two teenage white boys and you black boys out this door.
Everybody thinks that Ottis Toole, a serial pedophile, serial killer, partner of Henry Lee Lucas, another infamous serial killer, was stalking that store that day looking for a little boy. He was into little boys. And he lucked out and followed Adam out of the store.
There was that little boy crying. And when Reve asked for help in that store no one ever told her that Adam was ordered outside and that began the worst two weeks of our lives looking for that little boy.
KING: Why did it take two weeks?
J. WALSH: It took two weeks because Adam's remains were found on the 14th day. And you and I have talked about this over the years. There was nobody to help us. There were some well-intended people who searched sort of a very, you know, incompetent search, not very well organized but well intended.
The police didn't know what they were doing and it was just one nightmare after another. The FBI in those days refused to get in cases of kidnapped children. It was just -- everything that we thought we believed in when we had grown up on television that a SWAT team was going to come in and find this little boy, none of that happened and two weeks later they found his remains. Thank God or we'd still be searching.
KING: The man who confessed to it later recanted and since then has died, so therefore this is an unsolved crime, right?
J. WALSH: Absolutely. I don't think we'll ever get any justice. He was the main suspect. He recanted. He confessed again. He recanted. They did take his car. There were some witnesses who placed the car there. They took a blood piece of carpet out of the back of the car where he said he killed Adam in the car. Somehow the Hollywood, Florida Police Department misplaced that car, sent it to different labs. There was no DNA in 1981.
The FBI lab has told me repeatedly if they hadn't lost that carpet we could have told you in one day if that was Adam's blood from the DNA, so we may never get justice.
KING: He was brutally killed right?
J. WALSH: He was decapitated.
J. WALSH: Ask -- I don't know why Larry. I don't know why someone would kill Jessica Lunsford, Carlie Brucia, someone would kill Polly Klaas. These people are incorrigible. They're sociopaths. They're evil. They prefer to have sex with children.
And I figured one thing out after all these years that the psychiatric community should study these lowlifes. They should take parts of their brains. They should study their background.
But they've come to one conclusion, separate them from children. If they get out of prison, and I've often said they should be sent to a penal colony on Mars, separate them from children as long as you can and, if they get out, we should have the right to know where they are to track them because I've caught so many of them that have rap sheets 22 pages long.
And, Mark Lunsford asks the same question I do. Why in the hell are these guys out on the street? Why was John Cooey arrested 22 times and put on parole, violated his parole so he could steal that little girl in the middle night, murder her and bury her alive? I don't know why they do it but I know one thing you have to hunt them down before they hurt somebody else.
KING: When we come back, we'll find out how John Walsh got started on that hunt that's continued for 25 years. We're going to meet his whole family later too. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Twenty-five years ago today, Adam Walsh was abducted from a department store and he was later found murdered. In the years since, his parents John and Reve Walsh have become advocates for missing children. They've helped combat child abduction and exploitation across this country.
Our nation grieves with every family that suffered the unbearable pain of a child who's been abducted or abused. This law makes an important step forward in this country's effort to protect those that cannot protect themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was their son, their only child. John and Reve Walsh will never be able to erase the memory of their pain.
J. WALSH: I never fantasize or think about what it would be like if Adam had lived because that's not fair. We were lucky. We were lucky to have him for six and a half years. He was a beautiful little boy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is now law signed by the president today. The Walshs, and others, were there.
All right, John, what led to -- a lot of guys would have had this happen and said goodbye, forget it, I'm going off to New Zealand and I'm going to look at the beach. What led you to this life of hunting down people?
J. WALSH: Well, I think really Reve was the motivation in the beginning. We were absolutely devastated, heartbroken. We had nothing in common but the anger and the grief. And she said, "You know, we're destroying ourselves. This is not something that Adam would want. We've forgotten who the real victim is."
She started the first branch of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children out of our garage. I saddled up and came here to Washington to battle for the missing children's bill.
The FBI opposed it. It was a simple piece of legislation that simply said that parents like Reve and I would have the right to put their kids in the FBI computer, the NCIC. And that bill got passed. Paula Hawkins and Paul Simon worked so hard on that bill and our lives were changed forever. We started to become advocates.
KING: How though individually did you get to be a television person?
J. WALSH: Well, we were working so hard on trying to change laws going from state to state and FOX approached me in 1987 and asked me two questions. "We have tested people, actors, other people and we're starting a new network. We have one show on Sunday night, "21 Jump Street," with a star named Johnny Depp.
And we'd like you to host the first reality show. It's modeled after a show in England called "Crime Watch U.K." done by the BBC, recreations, very successful."
I asked them two questions. "Number one, what is reality television? And, number two, what is FOX?" And I said "I'm not interested. I'm trying to change laws for children. I don't know anything about TV." And they persisted and they persisted, Barry Diller and a man named Tom -- I'm sorry Barry Diller was the president of the network and Tom Hertzog (ph) was the lawyer.
They persisted and told me the first guy they wanted to profile was an FBI top ten child killer and that they would put a hotline together that cops didn't answer, hotline operators.
And I said, "You know what" to Reve, "This may change our lives but I'd like to do it." And she said, "This is what we're all about. Go do it." And we caught David James Roberts within three days, an FBI top ten fugitive. And now 20 years later we're almost up to 900 fugitives and the show has been a powerful force.
KING: And I always remember right after that first show or right before it you came on my radio show.
J. WALSH: I will never forget your support.
KING: Spent three hours.
J. WALSH: Yes, we've been friends for all these years, Larry. Before I was ever on television I'd come on the radio show and take calls about the missing children's bill. You've still been supportive over the years.
I'll never forget. You had Ted Kennedy on this program a while back and Ted Kennedy, a wonderful man and I've known him for 20 years, was trying to attach a piece of legislation to this that was holding it up.
You asked him why? He said he would consider it and he dropped that the next day, so you and I have been friends a long time and you've helped with a lot of things.
KING: We have an e-mail for you, John, from Kathleen in Pittsburgh. "I was wondering if there are volunteer programs with the FBI or other organizations for civilians to nab pedophiles via the Internet. I would not mind spending evenings online toward a cause I feel is so vital toward protecting children." What do you make of that?
J. WALSH: Well, first of all, I don't believe in vigilantism and I don't think this woman's intention is vigilantism but I think she's very well intended. We have volunteers that work at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. There are police agencies all over the country that use people to lure pedophiles over the Internet.
But I always say you've got to go through a bona fide police agency or a non-profit like the National Center, get your training. We could use you. We could use your help. And certainly the Internet has become a very dangerous place.
The National Center and the FBI caught 1,200 pedophiles last year that were posing as children trying to lure children out to hurt them, so the Internet has become -- and some of the parts of this bill deal with the dangers of the Internet.
It used to be the pedophile was out on the street and they still are trying to get your kid at the bus stop. Now that pedophile is in your living room talking to your 12-year-old daughter, posing as another 12-year-old girl. It can be a very dangerous place.
KING: We'll take a break and come back and Reve Walsh, John's wife who made all this happen as he has just said, will join us and later the kids.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: It's now my high honor to sign the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining John Walsh with us in Washington is Reve Walsh, his wife, and the mother of the late Adam Walsh. What was it like for you today, Reve?
REVE WALSH, WIFE OF JOHN WALSH: Well everyone keeps saying bittersweet and that's probably a good description of it. It's always been bitter, every July 27th. It's a day that, you know, we don't look forward to at all. It's a day that we just really don't get much accomplished. But today that's all changed. It's been 25 years of depression on that day and today it's a real good day for kids I believe, Larry.
KING: They did a very nice job with it too, didn't they Reve?
R. WALSH: They did. They did indeed. A lot of people are behind this bill. It took a lot to get this done. It's a huge accomplishment. It will change this country not only for the pedophiles that are out there, you know, manipulating the system but I believe that it also sends a message to children that they are valuable, you know.
Even though they don't have a vote or money behind them or a lobby they mean something now and I think they'll grow up knowing that and it's going to change society in some ways.
KING: Over the years we have talked so much with John about losing a child, which any parent cannot fathom. But you were there. You were at the Sears store. You looked up and didn't find him. Is that tough to live with?
R. WALSH: Well, it's reality, you know. I gave up the luxury of being naive on that day, you know, and I look at people that don't have a clue of what is not being done for their children out there and maybe it's a good thing to be naive. But for those of us that have walked in those shoes, and there are many of us, it's a whole new reality and you just can't sit back and not do anything. You got to make this a better and safe place for children.
KING: This is for both of you, John and then you. John are you naturally now suspicious?
J. WALSH: Oh, absolutely. Reve really hit the nail on the head. You think that, you know, we look back 25 years and think how naive we were. We had a beautiful home. We had this beautiful little boy. And I actually drove to Miami to work because I thought Hollywood, Florida was so much safer.
And now I've realized looking at all those parents that were there today that helped us with this bill they cross all socioeconomic boundaries and backgrounds. It doesn't matter whether you live in Beverly Hills or you live in East Los Angeles in the middle of the ghetto.
If a pedophile wants to get your child or hurt your child, they'll do anything. They don't care where they are. They roam around this country at random and we've lost that naivety and absolutely I think the tough thing was raising these three children that we were so lucky to have after Adam with all the rules and all the protection.
And all of that compounded by the fact that I do a crime show that hunts down the worst of the worst and some of those creeps threaten me all the time and threaten my family. So, Reve's right. We lost our naivety this day 25 years ago.
KING: Reve does that bother you that you are suspicious? In other words you can be suspicious but does it bother you that you're a different person?
R. WALSH: Well, I don't have much of a choice. I am who I am. It happened the way it happened and I wanted to have more children and I wanted them to grow up as children and not to be, you know, looking over their shoulders. So I had to pick up the slack and be that much more diligent. And I think we did a darn good job.
KING: We're going to meet those kids in a little while.
We have another e-mail from Ken in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "Do you think that 25 years later with a new law signed today that our children are any safer" John?
J. WALSH: I really do. The thing about this bill, and I said it when we put it together. Mark Foley, our Congressman, wrote it. Chairman James Sensenbrenner in the House made it better. On the Senate side we had Bill First, Orrin Hatch, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Senator Leahy.
We had a huge cross-section of people who tried to make this bill not a photo op. That's the thing. Bills with no money, bills with no oversight, they're just photo ops.
This bill is really I believe going to save lives. It's going to send a huge message to the hunters of our children and our women that we have turned the tide, that we are now the hunters.
And the marshals and other federal agencies are going to help those little local agencies go out and get these creeps. Yes, they will have committed one crime. Yes, they'll be in the registry. But I really think America is going to be a safer place because of the guts and the teeth in this bill.
KING: That's good news. Reve, a lot of times when tragedy strikes, death of a child either through murder or through illness, couples don't stay together. What kept you together?
R. WALSH: Oh, Larry, you know we've had our ups and downs but, you know, gee I don't know. We really love each other deeply and we've been together for so long and we have so much history together and so much in common and our beautiful children that we have now. And, you know, I always believe it's easy to get divorced. That's the easy way. And, God knows we don't anything that's easy.
KING: After Adam's passing was there blame? Were there things where you should have done this, you should have done that?
R. WALSH: You know, I've thought about that because people ask me that question sometimes and there really wasn't and I've tried to look back and say, gee am I in denial about this or what? But there really wasn't. We were overly protective parents if nothing else.
And I've always thought and John and I have always said that if it could happen to Adam, it could happen to anyone. We weren't the type of parents that just opened the door and said "See you at six o'clock," you know, like my parents did and I'm sure your parents probably did. That's the way it was back then.
But he was an only child. He was the first grandchild on both sides so therefore he was the only nephew at the time. He had so many adults around him. He was totally protected. I mean this is just something that we didn't know was in the plan for God to have plans for us to live with this.
KING: We'll take a -- let me get a break. We'll come back. And when we come back Megan, Callahan and Hayden are going to be standing by. They'll be joining us shortly, the children of John and Reve Walsh. Don't go away.
KING: The Adam Walsh Child and Safety Protection Act is now a law. It was signed today by President Bush and our guests are Reve Walsh and John Walsh, who were there for the signings and who spurred this on. I have one more e-mail for you from Cecille in Chamburg, Illinois.
J. WALSH: Absolutely have the guts to make that call. Call Child Protective Services, call the Police Department, don't expect somebody else to do it. Have the courage. Most of these hotline numbers allow you to call anonymously. We've caught almost 900 fugitives on America's Most Wanted because we honor that bond, to let people anonymously. I think that people are so reluctant to get involved. They feel they that they'll be brought into a trial. You don't have to do that. You could save a child's life even if you suspect, one little strange thing. You're protected. You're protected. Make that call. Have the courage, you could save a child's life.
KING: Do you, Reve, ever think Adam would be in his early 30s now. Do you ever think of what he would have been like?
R. WALSH: Absolutely. Absolutely. We have a son that's 21. I mean, our children are getting a little older. I have a daughter here that's 24. He would be 32 coming up. We have a little guy 11, and I do, of course, I think about it. I can't dwell on it, but I do think about it.
KING: John, do you think about your boy every day, do you think about Adam every day?
J. WALSH: Well, you know, people banter this word closure around. And I think every parent that was there today, of a missing or murdered child, feels the same way I do. You will always be the parent of a murdered child. You will never receive closure. You're only looking for justice, and everybody today mentioned their child. Their child is their motivation, they want to make sure that their deceased child is proud of them, is looking down on them from wherever that child is. I feel the same way. Many, many times, when this business is too tough, too rough, too depressing, I think about Adam. He's a great motivation, he was the victim, not Reve and I, absolutely. He was the victim. If we can't fight back for him, then who would?
KING: In all of these years now, 25 years, Reve, you've learned a lot about the kind of people who do these kind of things. Has it changed any? Is there a different kind of predator out there now than 25 years ago, with the Internet? Has that changed things?
R. WALSH: Well, of course, as the laws get tougher they get slicker. That's the way it has to be. But I think with this piece of legislation that we passed today, they are not going to prey on our children. We're going to be preying on them. Law enforcement will be preying on them. They will be the prey, the children won't be the prey anymore.
KING: What percentage of them, John, are men?
J. WALSH: Ninety nine percent of them. I mean, there are women who molest. There are women who participate in molestation. There are women like Wanda Barzee, that was the wife of the low life creep who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart, who was there today, beaming, so proud of that young lady and her dad, but the vast majority of them are low life men who have no conscience, no remorse, and they believe they can exploit any child that they want and get away with it. KING: Do you exclude priests who exploit but don't kill?
J. WALSH: No, I don't exclude priests. I was raised in the Catholic church and my cousin is a Monsignor. It's always appalled me that priests would get special treatment, that they would be moved around. If you molested a child, Larry, you would go to jail, and the Papal Commission that investigated the Catholic church said that there were over 10,000 pedophile priests who had molested children over the last 20 years. I say one thing. If you cross that line, especially if you're in a position of trust, you should go to jail for molesting that child.
KING: We'll take a break and when we come back, we'll meet the other Walsh's, Meghan, Callahan and Hayden, and spend some time with a delightful family. They don't have their older brother but they sure have a lot for each other. Don't go away.
KING: On this historic day we're joined by the entire Walsh family and they are Meghan Walsh, she's 24 years old, beautiful young lady, Callahan Walsh, who is 21 years old, and little Hayden Walsh, who is 11. Of course, remaining with us are John Walsh and Reve Walsh. Reve, did you have some second thoughts about having other children?
R. WALSH: Larry, Meghan was born a year after Adam's abduction and I think that really, really quickly after we found out Adam's fate, we said the only thing that makes sense is to have another child and get rid of this agony and find something that's as wonderful as Adam and that was Meghan.
KING: Meghan, was it hard growing up as you learned the history in the family?
MEGHAN WALSH, DAUGHTER OF JOHN AND REVE WALSH: Well, I think it's always been hard, you know. They have always been very cautious with us and things like that, but I think growing up, you know what their intentions are, you know that this gets them up every morning, and this is what drives them and how much good they are doing, that if something, if this tragedy had to happen to cause this much good, then obviously it was inevitable and it was for a reason. So, you know, we understood everything.
KING: But there must have been Adam's picture around the house?
M. WALSH: Oh, I still have Adam's picture in my bedroom today. He's always with us and we've always been aware of what happened and it just made us more aware. We've always been very street smart. We obviously did something good to deserve these parents and this lifestyle and this life. So, you know, again, we're very grateful and he's always with us.
KING: What do you do, Meghan?
M. WALSH: I'm a painter. I'm an artist. I do commissioned pieces. I'm a painter and I paint silk as well, oils and silk.
KING: In Florida?
M. WALSH: Actually, I reside in North Carolina right now. I have a fiance as of three weeks ago and he's in medical school at U.N.C. So I'm there.
KING: John, you like him?
J. WALSH: He's a great guy. When I first met him I took his blood, pieces of his hair.
M. WALSH: That's what I grew up with.
KING: Knowing you, yes.
J. WALSH: He's a great guy.
KING: Callahan Walsh is 21 years old. Now you suddenly became the next male in the family, was that a little rough?
CALLAHAN WALSH, SON OF JOHN AND REVE WALSH: No, you know, I mean, growing up with these great parents it hasn't been tough. They don't put any sort of pressure on me as far as the oldest son. I'm very proud to be part of this family, to see what work they have done for children all across the country.
KING: Did they hover over you, though?
C. WALSH: No, no, not too bad. Not as bad as you may think. No.
KING: No? What do you do, Callahan?
C. WALSH: I'm a student at Stetson University, outside Daytona, Florida.
KING: What are you majoring in?
C. WALSH: I'm a business major.
KING: And young Hayden Walsh, who is 11 years old. What has all of this been like for you, Hayden, this attention, the White House, your father on television?
HAYDEN WALSH, SON: Oh, man. It's exciting, and I just don't know what to say about my parents. They are such role models that it's not hard to believe, but at some point, sometimes, it's just overwhelming, like all they have accomplished and stuff.
KING: Did they pay an overamount of attention to you?
H. WALSH: Under some circumstances.
R. WALSH: We all did.
KING: Well, you're the baby.
John, was he treated differently as the baby, he's a boy, you had to think of things?
J. WALSH: Well, I think, you know, Callahan and Megan are a little bit older. They went through all the tough stuff and all the strict discipline and looking out for them. And I think the last one is the one who gets a lot of attention, gets the easiest job, and, you know, this brother and this sister are really role models for Hayden. He looks up to them, and he loves them, and they are so nice to him. It's really wonderful to see the way they treat this little boy.
KING: Reve, does Hayden remind you of Adam?
R. WALSH: Physically, he does, yes. He looks a lot like Adam. You can see that. And he's sort of, you know, having older parents and older brothers and sisters, he's pretty grown up for his age, which Adam was a lot like that, being surrounded by adults. Children that are in those situations tend to be a little bit more mature. And he's something else. He's definitely a chip off the old block.
KING: Boy, does he. Look at that shot there. Boy, does he look like Adam.
We're going to take a break and come back, get some more from the family, and get some current things that John -- you can't talk to John Walsh and not stay on top of certain things. And then we'll meet the prime minister of Turkey. Don't go away.
KING: Before we get back with the Walshes, let's check in with Anderson Cooper in northern Israel, where he'll host "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour. What's up, Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, as if the situation here wasn't complex enough already, dangerous enough already, al Qaeda has now weighed in on the conflict. A tape from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two man in al Qaeda, calling for foreign fighter jihadists to come to Lebanon and fight against Israel and fight against the U.S. and its allies, all across the world.
We'll have that at the top of the hour. We'll also have the latest on the fighting here. Huge numbers of rockets are landing in northern Israel today, and Israel calls up more troops for possible larger scale ground action in south Lebanon, Larry.
KING: Thanks. That's Anderson Cooper, immediately following this program at the top of the hour. And we'll talk with the prime minister of Turkey in a couple of minutes.
A couple of minutes left with the Walshes. I want to get a case on hand here for John Walsh. Tell me about this Destiny Norton matter, the 5-year-old in Utah. Gregerson was charged today with murder. What can you tell us about that case? J. WALSH: This was a case that we hoped would have a better ending. This is a 5-year-old girl that went missing in Salt Lake City, Utah, a very, very sad case. This beautiful little girl was found in this guy's basement, and he's the number one suspect. All I can say is thank God they found this little girl's remains. Terrible, sad ending, and I hope this family gets justice.
KING: What's the latest on Richard Goldberg? You've profiled him for a while.
J. WALSH: Larry, you and I have been talking about this guy for years. I mean, he was that weird guy on the street that everybody trusted. He had the ducks in the backyard and he had the computers in the house and he had all the games in the garage. Everybody thought he was the friendly uncle, and he's suspected of molesting 10 little girls. As a matter of fact, two girls were playing on his computer and saw naked pictures of their friends, and had the courage, real role models, little 10-year-old girls, to tell their parents.
And I don't know why they can't catch this guy. He's got to be somewhere in the United States. The FBI has now, as of this week, offered a $100,000 reward for any tips leading to the arrest of this creep. And he's one of those pedophiles that I hope that this bill will focus in on, and the new marshals will go out and get this guy, because he's just very difficult to catch, and he could be molesting children anywhere.
KING: If anyone gets him, you will.
Megan Walsh, what do you think of what your father does?
M. WALSH: Oh, God, Larry, who has done more for mankind, you know, children's rights? We wouldn't even have rights as victims or children if it weren't for my parents. And the older I get, the more profound it gets, so, you know, it's just -- it is very surreal, and at the same time, it's very real. So I'm just so proud and I can't believe that we were so blessed, and, you know, again, who has done more, who has worked harder to improve our civilization, our way of life, and, you know, in this day and age, that's really something to see.
KING: Callahan, does it take a lot of time away from the family?
C. WALSH: At times, he's on the road a lot. But at the same time, we get to see him, go travel with him. It's presented a lot of opportunities for me to see different parts of the country and different parts of the world that I don't think I would be able to see without it. So, you know, in times that are spent away from the family, he's not flying just to different meetings. He's going out there and making a difference, and that counts a lot.
KING: What's it like for you, Hayden, don't you miss your dad a lot?
H. WALSH: Well, a lot of my friends ask me if I ever see my dad. And of course, he's not gone that much. He's only gone for like two or three days at a time. And usually, you shoot like several shows, don't you? Yes, don't you?
J. WALSH: I do. And he goes with me. He's great. He's...
KING: Oh, you take him?
J. WALSH: He goes on location, and I would say this little guy got these beautiful children that we're blessed with, and they are articulate and loving, but this guy is the one that -- he might have the on-air potential of all of these kids.
M. WALSH: Well, Larry, in regards to that, the bedtime stories were always there, and he was always coaching our soccer games and all of our games, and he was at everything. And you know, this was just an added bonus that he could do this much work on the side, so, you know, he's always been a phenomenal father, very hands-on.
KING: The powers that be -- hold it -- the powers that be tell me we will probably talk with the prime minister of Turkey in Istanbul tomorrow night, so we'll complete the rest of the hour with the Walshes and we'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John has been a pioneer, a hero, a champion.
J. WALSH: Thank you for the kind words on the floor. I can't thank you enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks. It's because of you, my friend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You deserve a lot of congratulations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for your work on this predator bill. I wanted to thank you personally. I can't thank you enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks to you for everything that you do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an honor to work with you these 25 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: By the way I'm now told that the interview that we did earlier with the Prime Minister of Turkey will air during "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper at the top of the hour. We're back with the Walshes. Let's take a call, Chico, California, hello. Chico, are you there? No Chico. Let's try Coral Springs, Florida. Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Mr. And Mrs. Walsh. I have the utmost respect for you, I commend you, your family is beautiful. I was living in Broward County at the time that your son was murdered. I would like to know, knowing what you know now, how would you go about changing it as far as law enforcement? What would you have done differently to maybe solve this crime a little easier?
J. WALSH: Well, I think we learned first hand that the first day that Adam was missing, that lots of law enforcement agencies don't have the training, they don't have the experience, they certainly don't exchange information. About the third day into the case I learned that there were 320 police agencies in the state of Florida, and about 80 percent of them didn't even know Adam was missing.
These are some of the things we learned during that two weeks that we searched for Adam, that nightmare. That's what we've been trying to change for 25 years. On the state level, but today was such a wonderful day because federal law supersedes state law. This has the ability to impact every state, the good states, bad states, the mediocre states, this huge piece of legislation impacts every single state, every county, every jurisdiction, and I think it will make law enforcement better.
KING: Is America's Most Wanted involved in the Warren Jeffs case, the polygamist?
J. WALSH: Oh are we ever. Warren Jeffs has been on the show three times now. This guy has a war chest of about $200 million, lots of cult followers. He has the potential to be a David Koresh and take down members of his cult. He's wanted for pedophilia. He's the kind of guy I hate the moat. He's molested several boys, alleged to in his cult, traded young girls to other cult members, 11 and 12-year-old girls.
This guy is dangerous. He's on the run and anybody that's involved with Warren Jeffs, that's in his cult, might be watching this I want to tell you first hand, you can't believe this guy. He's a bad, bad guy. Somebody knows where he is, he travels with bodyguards. He's got lots of money, got guns, potentially dangerous. Somebody knows where he is. Please, have the guts to turn this guy in before somebody gets killed.
KING: And we have picked up Chico, California now. Are you there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
KING: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes John, my heart goes out to you and your family but what I would like to know is when in our penile system did they start letting prisoners out early for good behavior and how can we change that and get truth in sentencing?
KING: I think we've always had that, haven't we John?
J. WALSH: Oh God. We, you know, several years ago we found out that most of the prisoners in Florida only serve 30 percent of their sentence because they get time for good behavior. I've always said what else can you do in prison besides be good and try to get out? That's a bunch of B.S. But many states have stopped that.
Now most states you serve 80 percent and this is why this federal law is such a good law because you serve your full sentence, and there is very little parole and probation. I think the states though that still have those good time, it's OK to have a little good time, it keeps prisoners looking forward to something, but this gain time of only serving 30 to 40 percent of your sentence, it's madness. It's not about punishment. Those things need to change.
KING: Callahan, do you want to follow in your dad's footsteps at all?
C. WALSH: You know, I haven't made up my mind yet. I kind of, I don't know, I'm on the fence with that. I would like to, I'm interested in the production aspect of his television show and possibly continuing the crusade that he started in helping women and children in this nation.
KING: Meghan, do you want to get married soon?
M. WALSH: Oh, we've got about a year and a half, so it's coming up quickly. A lot sooner than I expected, but, yes, I'm excited. I've waited my whole life for this and it's a little girl's dream. I'm daddy's girl, so, you know, it's definitely going to be a great day. So yes.
KING: Are you ready to be a grandma, Reve?
R. WALSH: I still have baby sitters for my own child. I don't know if I'm ready, maybe we can get both kids with one baby sitter. I don't know, grandchildren.
KING: Hayden, do you like girls yet?
H. WALSH: I have got my eye on a few.
KING: Oh, Hayden, you do?
H. WALSH: Yes. Just a few.
KING: John, how sad and proud you must be.
J. WALSH: You know, I said it today, was the most bittersweet day. This is always a day that we have dreaded, especially for Reve, and from this day forward, for all the parents that helped us with this bill, all the members of Congress, the people who work at the National Center for Missing and Exploited, they have changed this day. We've been cursed by Adam's abduction and murder, blessed by these three beautiful, incredible children, and from now on, July 27 is going to be a real day of celebration, celebration of the signing of this bill, which I think will make this country safer for children.
KING: A lot of people owe you a great debt, John, and you are very much appreciated in America, I hope you know that.
J. WALSH: Well, I couldn't do it without this lady right here who has always been the silent strong one in this marriage, and I haven't done it alone. Every week, thousands, millions of people watch America's Most Wanted and help me catch these low lifes. I have friends like you that help me get these bills passed. I haven't done it alone. I always believed we wanted to make sure that Adam didn't die in vain and lots of people have helped us make sure that little boy didn't die in vain.
KING: Congratulations, John, congratulations to the whole family.
J. WALSH: Thank you.
M. WALSH: Thank you Larry.
R. WALSH: Thank you.
KING: The Walshes. Tomorrow night we've got an exclusive, the first television interview with the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery, their first interview since returning from space. They will all be with us, so to will be John Glen, the former United States senator and the astronaut who was one of the original Mercury astronauts and the first American to orbit the earth. That's all tomorrow night.
Right now we go to northern Israel. Anderson Cooper is standing by to host "AC 360," Anderson.
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