however, Jack Hoffman was fixated upon the ugly.
“It’s as clear as day,” Hoffman told Matthews excitedly, still brandishing the report. “Campbell’s banging the wife, Walsh finds out, throws his ass out, and the guy snatches the kid to get back at him.”
“Come on, Jack,” Matthews protested, but the beleaguered detective was having none of it. Almost two weeks without a thing to go on, and finally this bombshell dropped in his lap.
Hoffman snapped his fingers then, as another thought occurred to him. “Maybe Campbell still had the hots for Mrs. Walsh, and he thought getting rid of the kid would help clear the way.”
“You’re not listening to me,” Matthews said, trying to counter Hoffman’s belligerence. “We’re not writing a fucking novel here, we’re conducting an examination. He’s got a solid alibi for the day Adam Walsh went missing. And his polygraph test is absolutely conclusive. He and Revé might have made a big mistake. But as to Adam’s disappearance, there is no deception. Look at what I’m telling you. Read .”
Hoffman shook his head. “He beat the test somehow, that’s all. I want a follow-up exam.”
Matthews stared back at Hoffman for a moment. He should have been prepared for this. Clearly, Hoffman and the department as a whole were desperate. Earlier, when Matthews had asked Hoffman why the department hadn’t announced that they no longer believed in the “blue van” theory, Hoffman had simply shrugged. “Hey, that’s all we have to give the public,” the detective told him. “We have to keep something out there so they’ll stay interested in the case.”
Matthews sighed inwardly, trying to put himself in Hoffman’s shoes. “Jack,” he said patiently, “there is no need for a follow-up examination. There is no doubt here.”
Hoffman seemed about to go off at that, but he caught himself and mustered a conciliatory gaze. “Listen,” he said. “I’ll make a deal with you. You do a follow-up with Campbell, and if he passes, I’ll drop him as a suspect. You have my word.”
It was a waste of time, Matthews thought, but if it would put the matter to an end, he supposed he could do it. “Okay,” he told Hoffman. “I’ll call him back in.”
“You do that,” Hoffman said, satisfied. “Meantime, I’ll check out this so-called alibi of his.”
T hus, a weary Matthews reluctantly called Campbell, who agreed to appear at Hollywood PD at 10:00 a.m. on Monday for a follow-up exam. And later that Saturday, Hoffman took another detective with him to the Gold Strand Motel on Collins Avenue in far north Dade County, where Campbell had been running a boat rental concession for about seven months.
At the Gold Strand, Hoffman spoke with the hotel manager, Carroll Shannon, who confirmed that Campbell indeed worked there, but as to his whereabouts on the Monday that Adam Walsh disappeared, she had no idea. Maybe they should talk to Louis Munoz, her assistant pool manager. When Hoffman and his partner found Munoz, he remembered the day well. Munoz told them that Jimmy Campbell had arrived at about ten thirty that morning, excited about getting his sailboats cleaned up for a TV commercial that would be filmed at the hotel later in the afternoon. He noticed Jimmy puttering about throughout the day, Munoz said. When Joe Walsh, John’s brother, came by looking for Jimmy at around three thirty, he was out on the ocean on one of his boats.
From the Gold Strand, Hoffman and his partner went to Jimmy Campbell’s home, where they interviewed him regarding his association with the Walsh family and his whereabouts on July 27, the day Adam disappeared. As he had told Matthews, Campbell explained that he had known John Walsh for nine years and that he had lived with the family for about four years. He did various chores around the place, and sometimes babysat for Adam, whom he had come to love. He took the boy on outings to the beach, the zoo, and baseball games. He’d even
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