About America's Most Wanted
With 24 seasons on FOX, America’s Most Wanted was one of network television’s longest-running series. Lauded by law enforcement organizations nationwide and internationally, this hour hosted by John Walsh changed the lives of thousands of crime victims, put hundreds of perpetrators behind bars and was a powerful voice for crime victims everywhere. The show aired for 24 seasons on FOX, from 1988 to 2011, and targeted dangerous fugitives, with regular updates provided until the featured criminals in each episode were caught.
Among its many accomplishments, America’s Most Wanted helped capture more than 1,100 criminals, including 17 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. The series also reunited 43 missing children with their families, which is Walsh’s proudest achievement. In March 2010, President Obama appeared on AMW to congratulate the series on its milestone 1000th episode.
In 2003, America’s Most Wanted and Walsh made national headlines for their determined efforts leading to the recovery of kidnapped teen Elizabeth Smart. Later that year, Walsh joined President George W. Bush in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House as the PROTECT Act of 2003, which expanded the use of Amber Alerts, was signed into law.
On July 29, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. The result of years of lobbying by Walsh and others, the new law – signed on the 25th anniversary of the abduction and murder of Walsh’s 6-year-old son, Adam – expands the National Sex Offender Registry and strengthens federal penalties for crimes against children.
Walsh has received many awards and commendations for his efforts on behalf of the nation’s children, including the Man of the Year Award from the U.S. Marshals Service, which made him an honorary U.S. Marshal in 2003. He was named Father of the Year by the Center for Criminal Justice Studies, and has received the National PTA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. An active voice for victims’ rights, Walsh co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 1984.
America’s Most Wanted was produced by STF Productions, Inc. John Walsh served as executive producer and host, and Steve Katz served as co-executive producer.