If you've watched America's Most Wanted, you may remember host John Walsh proclaiming, "Let's get these dirtbags." The hit television show featured stories about criminals on the loose and cases that had gone cold, offering viewers the opportunity to call in with their hot tips in an attempt to corral some of whom the FBI deemed the most notorious murderers and law breakers. The show ran for 25 seasons on the Fox network — from 1988 to 2012 — with a one-season reboot on the Lifetime network in 2012. The host, John Walsh, is a human rights activist who became a criminal investigator after his son was kidnapped and murdered in 1981. The alleged murderer, Ottis Toole, confessed in 1983 before he himself died in 1996, but was not declared guilty until 2008.
But did America's Most Wanted actually catch anyone? While many criminals featured on the show were, of course, never caught, the success rate of criminals captured after being featured on America's Most Wanted is indeed staggering. When the show ended in 2013, AMW reported that it had been responsible for capturing more than 1,200 criminals, proving that crowdsourced criminal hunting worked.
David James Roberts Was 'AMW's First CapturePhoto: Lake County PD/Pulic Domain
John List Killed His Entire Family And Escaped Justice For 18 Years Until His Story Aired On 'AMW'Video: YouTube
The Texas Seven Escaped From Prison Custody And Were Captured Thanks To 'AMW' Viewers
Darryl Crenshaw Was Featured On 'AMW' After Killing His Girlfriend... And A Man In Jail Recognized HimVideo: YouTube
Rickey Allen Bright Was Recognized By Locals Who Saw Him Performing In A Country BandPhoto: Nashville PD/Public Domain
AMW Dubbed Reinaldo Silvestre The 'Butcher Of South Beach'