Crime History: 'America's Most Wanted' makes television debut

Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Crime History

On this day, Feb. 7, in 1988, the ground-breaking reality TV show, "America's Most Wanted," made its debut.

The show was the brainchild of host John Walsh, whose 6-year-old son, Adam, was abducted from a South Florida mall and killed in 1981.

On its first episode, "AMW" aired a case about FBI Top 10 fugitive David James Roberts. Calls began pouring into the studio. Roberts had changed his name and was running a New York homeless shelter. Four days later, police found him.

"AMW" was the Fox Television Network's longest-running program before it was canceled in 2011 and moved to the Lifetime channel. Its studios are housed at the National Crime & Punishment Museum in downtown D.C.

"Americas Most Wanted" has helped capture at least 1,202 fugitives.

- Scott McCabe

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