Most people here in the United States are well aware of the Crime Stoppers Program. It is a program that most of us were introduced to as children in some form or another. In 1976 the Crime Stoppers program was created as a way to enlist the help of the community in finding the person responsible for the murder of Michael Carmen, a college student from New Mexico. The first case was a success and laid the groundwork for the program (csiworld.org).
In July of 1976, Michael Carmen was gunned down during a gas station robbery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The police had no suspects in the shooting. Detective Greg MacAleese came up with the idea of using video to re-enact the murder. MacAleese was so set on getting justice for Carmen that he put…show more content… People could see for themselves onscreen what the suspects looked like if the police had identified one. If there was no photograph of a suspect the use of a drawing by a sketch artist could also be shown. Not all cases had a suspect, so the police would do their best in providing the public with any possible physical description, or any other information that would point the viewers in the right direction. The show was hosted by John Walsh. Assisting in the capture of dangerous criminals was a personal mission for Walsh because in 1981 his son Adam was kidnapped and murdered (Martin, 2011). That same year Walsh and his wife established the Adam Walsh Outreach Center for Missing Children (missingkids.com). This center was the building block for the creation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children which was founded in 1984 with the assistance of Walsh (Martin, 2011). In 2008 it was discovered that Ottis Toole was responsible for the abduction and murder of Adam. Toole died in 1996 while incarcerated for different crimes. (Romero, 2010).
The first fugitive profiled by America’s Most Wanted was David James Roberts, a fugitive charged with multiple murders, arson, and rape. In 1975 Roberts murdered a family in cold blood, then burned their home down. 2 years later while he was out on bail for those crimes he once again went on a violent rampage. Roberts raped a young woman and killed her baby. Within 4 days of the airing Roberts was arrested thanks to many tips by people who recognized his photo, but knew him under another name (Suddath,