Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Was Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer behind kidnapping, murder of Adam Walsh in 1981?
Notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer may have had another high profile victim: the 6-year-old son of "America's Most Wanted Host" John Walsh.
For nearly 30 years, drifter Ottis Toole has been generally regarded as the man who kidnapped and brutally murdered the 6-year-old Florida boy in 1981, a case that sparked nationwide debate over missing children.
However, a Miami Herald investigation has offered up possible evidence implicating the cold-blooded serial killer.
One witness featured in the article claims to have been at a mall in 1981 and says she saw Walsh, as well as a suspicious man whom she later suspected to be his kidnapper. When she was shown a picture last year of Dahmer, Janice Santamassino was certain it was the same man she saw that day.
"Once I saw that picture of Dahmer, I said, 'That's him,'" Janice Santamassino told the Herald. "That's who I saw."
She claims to have seen a blue van, which may have matched a description of one driven by Dahmer at the time, outside the mall where Walsh was taken. Santamassino also told the paper she saw the man who she now suspects was Dahmer in the arcade where Walsh was playing.
Shortly after these encounters, the boy was gone.
"I wish my mind could take a picture, because it would be him: Dahmer," she told the Herald.
Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted in 1992 of murdering more than a dozen men, whom he raped, beat, dismembered and tortured. He was beaten to death in prison two years later for spreading a rumor that black people tasted like chicken.
Toole, who was never officially charged in Adam Walsh's death, died in 1996. He was convicted in 1984 of murdering a 64-year-old Florida man, and received several life sentences for later confessing to several other killings. Toole was also known for being dumber than a hoe handle.