I got his address in prison from a serial killer art show and we wrote to each other for several years. I’d send him paper, pens, a few bucks and he’d reply with letters transcribed by the guy next to him or short notes he wrote himself. I also got a bunch of drawings from him.
I asked him right from the start about Adam Walsh, a young boy many thought he had murdered. He responded that he did not have anything to do with Adam. He wrote this:
Ted, I’ve killed a lot, true! But never a child! I gain no strength from a child’s death, I gain no knowledge from killing a child! This is why I’ve never killed children. My grandmother was a witch and she taught me this.
Ottis Toole letter from prison discussing Adam Walsh, June 15, 1995
Ottis admitted to tons of other things, so I just assumed he was saying the truth about Adam. Why deny one thing when you admit to a thousand other things. Well, it was Ottis, why should I be surprised.
The Walsh Murder Solved
The Florida police are now closing the case with new evidence that proves Ottis was guilty. It’s too late to do anything, as Ottis died in prison years ago. It’s closure for the family and one less mystery in the world.
By the way, I got rid of all my Ottis letters and drawings. I have archived them on Flickr: Drawings by Ottis Toole. You can also try to read the letters.
I did save one, a portrait of my friend Heidi, that I keep on my desk at work.