Last week, AMW and John Walsh celebrated more than two decades on the air and reaching a major milestone as we broadcast our 1,000th episode. While shooting that show, we were still unaware of a last-minute addition to the episode: an interview with President Barack Obama.
John has met many presidents over the years, but as he stated, the timing for this meeting made this episode extra special.
"It was a real honor, a real huge milestone," said John. "But it was made even more special by the White House having us come over there to sit down personally with the president, giving us an unrestricted interview.
"I have to give him a lot of credit, because President Obama was great. We talked about the 1,000th show, the Adam Walsh act, DNA on arrest and about what he had done with the Recovery Act, which put $2 billion on the street to make sure local cops didn't lose their jobs."
John was impressed with the fact that the president was well informed and engaged on the issues. Particularly with two major issues that John is most driven to see through. The Adam Walsh act was passed three years ago, but still needs funding. President Obama made a commitment as a father to push funding through for the act.
Another issue is in relation to collecting DNA on arrest. Each state collects DNA of convicted felons, but only 21 states collect DNA upon arrest. This has solved thousands of cold cases, and John felt reassured during this meeting with President Obama. John points out that president looked him directly in the eye and said, "this is something this country should do, and I support that."
The 1,000th show also gave us one more reason for celebration. One of the fugitives featured on that episode was taken off the streets and put behind bars. The day before the 1,000th episode aired, John was a guest on "Live with Regis & Kelly" and spoke of the horrific crimes allegedly committed by Albert Turner. Soon after John's appearance, a viewer called in with the important tip that would make Turner AMW Direct Capture No. 1109.
This weekend we're hoping that we can do the same with a 25-year-old cold case, the murder of Kimberly Simon. This is a case where DNA testing was used to exonerate the primary suspect in the investigation, who had languished behind bars for nearly 20 years. Now, with new evidence and witnesses coming to the fore, we're hoping that you can help provide that crucial tip that will finally put this case to rest.