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"America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back" enters its 20th season as one of network television's longest-running series. Lauded by law enforcement organizations nationwide and internationally, this hour hosted by John Walsh has changed the lives of thousands of crime victims - and has put hundreds of perpetrators behind bars. The show is a powerful voice for crime victims everywhere.
Among its most notable achievements, "America's Most Wanted" has helped to capture 900 criminals, including 15 taken off the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, and - Walsh's proudest achievement - reunited 43 missing children with their families.
In 2003, "America's Most Wanted" and John 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 Child Protection Act of 2003 was signed into law. AMW again broadcast from the White House on July 29, 2006, two days after another Rose Garden ceremony at which 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 - will create a national sex offender registry.
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. Walsh was named Father of the Year by the Center for Criminal Justice Studies and "A Young American Who is Changing America" by Esquire magazine. He also has received the National PTA's Lifetime Achievement Award.
"America's Most Wanted" originally premiered in 1988 and was renamed "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back" in 1996. Since then, the program's mission has expanded. The series targets many dangerous fugitives and, with the help of viewers, starts a relentless pursuit of the criminals profiled.
Regular updates are provided until the featured criminals are caught. Viewers can report tips by calling 1-800-CRIME-TV, or by completing the Online Tip Form available on the AMW Web site.
An active voice for victims' rights, Walsh co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 1984.