Convicting the Innocent


Obsession with closure led Mathews to pin a murder on Ottis Toole

Inconsistencies in Matthews Interview


At 02:21:The ten-year-old boy Matthews is referring to is Tim Pottenburgh. Tim is not the only blue van witness at the Hollywood Mall. There is also Mia Taylor, Janice Santamassino, Phillip Lohr and Bill Bowen as well as many more blue van witnesses from other locations such as the four witnesses at the site where Adam’s severed head was found.


At 03:36: Matthews says the FBI didn’t get involved in the Adam Walsh Case yet in Bringing Adam Home he credits himself to be responsible for solving the case because the FBI was unable to solve it.


At 06:14:Jack Hoffman and Detectives’ Verdicts


On January 10, 1984, Captain R.S. Davis, then head of the Hollywood detective division, wrote about the task force findings:“In the three months since Toole had surfaced as a suspect, the six investigators assigned full-time to the case had traveled to Jacksonville, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, and North and South Carolina—at a cost of 3,500 man-hours and $62,000. All persons known to have had contact with Toole during the summer of 1981 have been located and interviewed.  Detectives have been unable to uncover any evidence, other than his confessions, linking him with the Walsh homicide.”


This means Matthews was more of the problem than the solution. The other detectives had long since dismissed Ottis Toole as a viable suspect, nearly without exception. Matthews, the exception, continued to latch on to Toole. It’s like the woman who was watching her son graduate from basic training. The woman standing next to her commented that one of the soldiers was out of step. The mother said, “That’s my son; he’s the only one in step.” And like that mom, some people thought Detective Sergeant Joe Matthews was in step.


At 09:00: Detective Matthews uses Security Guard Kathryn Shaffer as his convenient scapegoat, and to this day, Joe Matthews has the Walsh family convinced that Shaffer put Adam out of the Sears and into the parking lot (Bringing Adam Home,p. 239).

When security guard Shaffer observed the incident in the toy department at 12:45 p.m., Adam had already been missing for around twenty-five minutes. Dahmer was already in his blue van with Adam, and the evidence I found implied that he was most likely on his way back to the meter room behind Sunshine Subs where he worked.


At 11:00: Matthews claims Ottis Toole led detectives to the location Adam’s severed head was found.



Officer Hoffman explained that the suspect OTTIS TOOLE did not direct the investigators to either location. Regarding the decapitation location, Officer Hoffman explained that they had made two or three stops as they traveled north on the Florida Turnpike, and stopped at random locations that remotely could have been the “crime scene” location. Each time, TOOLE did not identify a location. When they stopped at the location on the north side of the RADEBAUGH RD overpass on the turnpike at mile marker 170, TOOLE had not told them to stop there. In fact, they had driven past it and saw the turnoff as they drove by. They stopped and backed up, and after looking about, TOOLE advised that it “could be” the location. Officer Hoffman advises that it was not until this site had been “identified” that any verbal harassing of TOOLE began (SAO case files, box 2, file 3, p. 276).


video part 1



Part 1: Les Standiford and Joe Matthews talk about their false narrative.





video link 2


Part 2: Les Standiford and Joe Matthews; convict Ottis Toole with junk evidence and without calling any of the witnesses from the Hollywood Mall, The Twin City Mall and other locations relevant to Adam’s abduction.




Det. Matthews


Listen to Detective Joe Matthews take credit for solving the Adam Walsh case. - At 2:11 of this interview Matthews says he reinterviewed every witness that was still alive, yet he has NOT called any of the witnesses from the Hollywood Mall and other locations relevant to Adam's abduction.



3 suspects

THREE SUSPECTS: Only one is guilty

LEFT: Jimmy Campbell
CENTER: Ottis Toole
RIGHT: Jeffrey Dahmer

Note: The HPD went after both Campbell and Toole with a vengeance, and Dahmer NEVER was even considered a suspect as the homicide detectives went into cover-up mode to protect their own reputations.


Excerpt from






Detective Joe Matthews Talks About His
Narcissistic Version of the Adam Walsh Case


After Hours AM / The Criminal Code
Joe Matthews investigator of the Adam Walsh Case
By After Hours AM
October 18, 2017



SHOW DESCRIPTION: On a riveting, heartbreaking episode of After Hours AM/The Criminal Code — True Crime Wednesdays with hosts Joel Sturgis, Eric Olsen, and secret weapon, forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — we talk with legendary criminal investigator and retired Miami Beach Detective Sergeant Joe Matthews, who solved the Adam Walsh murder cold case and dozens of others. He is the co-author of Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America. We speak with Joe at 10pE; at 9pE, Clarissa leads us through the week's most interesting and bizarre True Crime news.

Mr. Matthews is a phony, and a fraud yet an accomplished prevaricator with a purpose as he continues peddling his contrived hypothesis with seedy intentions. In this interview Matthews explains how he pinned Adam’s murder on Ottis Toole. This is his version of the Adam Walsh case. At 31:30 of this interview, this detective claims Ottis Toole ate his victims including Adam.


It should be noted, Ottis Toole’s only real, proven victim was sixty-four-years-old—and even that death was most likely the result of an arson accident. Toole never harmed a boy of any age, nor did Toole ever decapitate anyone. And he certainly NEVER ate Adam or anyone else.

October 18, 2017: Joel Sturgis was a great host and we owe him gratitude for doing his part to help get justice for Adam by inviting us on his show so everyone will know the truth of what happened to Adam Walsh.


Detective Matthews was offered to be on the show again with us but he declined because he doesn't want to face Mia Taylor and he can't answer some basic questions that I would like to ask him. Such as, how did he manage to pin Adam's murder on Ottis Toole without calling not even one witness that was at the Hollywood Mall on the day Adam was abducted. Also how did the photo that he received from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement change from the one he received to the one he claims is Adam: Junk Evidence


Radio Show Radio Show


Book Talk


Les Standiford and Joe Matthews
Make False Claims While Spreading a False Narrative
Book Talk | WYPL Radio | Memphis, Tennessee



At 3:19: Matthews' makes the claim that Adam was playing a video game with Joel Cockerham. This is not true. According to his sister Mia who was with Joel in the toy department that day and speaks for Joel since he passed away in 2006, the following is what she said: "He (Joel) wouldn't even have known how to play the game. He only watched others play."


At 3:40: Matthews says that the security guard put Adam out of the store. This is another false statement: When Reve went back to the toy department, Adam was gone. She tried asking the other kids if they had seen Adam, but they were too busy playing their video games to answer her. One Latino kid pointed toward a door, but it wasn't the north door. He pointed to the west-side, garden-shop door. Reve thought it was ridiculous that Adam would've gone out the west door. Adam had never done that before. Thinking the kid was just being polite to a grown-up or didn't understand her because he spoke only Spanish, she dismissed his response (Tears of Rage, p. 45).


Reve then went to the service counter, got them to page Adam, and ran out into the mall. After running up and down the mall a couple of times, she went back to the toy department. This time Reve said, "All the kids were gone!" Which means Adam was already missing the FIRST time Reve went to retrieve Adam, and all the other kids were still there. Security guard Kathryn Shaffer must have asked the other kids to leave during the time Reve was searching for Adam in the mall hallway. Only after Reve returned the SECOND time did she notice all the kids were gone. Eventually, the police arrived, as did John Walsh. When John asked one of the officers where the SWAT team was, he was told, "Hey, Cowboy - slow down here. I don't like your attitude."


At 4:00: Matthews says that the Adam was abducted from outside of the store. This is another false statement by Joe Matthews. Numerous witnesses saw Adam being abducted from the toy department.


At 10:35: Matthews claims that everything in Bringing Adam Home is the truth. What he doesn't mention is that he never called any of the witnesses that were in the Hollywood Mall on the day Adam was abducted. Matthews claims his book holds the original lead detective Jack Hoffman accountable. Now Frustrated Witness is holding Detective Joe Matthews accountable!


At 12:12: Les Standiford compares Matthews to a real life Colombo. Standiford claims Matthews was able to figure out a puzzle no one else was smart enough to piece together. In reality, Matthews was so far out in left field with his cockamamie Ottis Toole theories that he wasn't even in the ballpark any more.


At 16:48: Standiford does his best to dismiss Jeffrey Dahmer as a suspect even though Dahmer and the blue van had been seen by witnesses at all three locations relevant to Adam's abduction as well as other attempted abductions.