Network: FoxTV (ended in June 2011) and LifeTime (began September 2011)
First Episode: April 10, 1988 - present
Last Episode: March 2013
Status: Cancelled


Details: America's Most Wanted was the first public service television series to appeal to the public for help in solving cold police cases and in locating fugitives from justice. Although Unsolved Mysteries predates it as a January 20, 1987 special, AMW is the first series to work with the cooperation of the police, government and law enforcement officials. It was created by human and victim rights activist John Walsh after the abduction of his six-year son Adam who had been kidnapped and murdered. Episodes featured anywhere from five to eight cases per episode which were profiled and recreated by actors and included interviews with friends and family members of victims, the local police and witnesses. On occasion, the actors involved in the recreations were sometimes confused with the fugitives. As popularity of the show increased, Walsh began extended the range of the show to also assist local authorities in locating missing persons, particularly the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, and recurring awards to members of the law and rescue organizations for conduct well and above the call of duty. Walsh also became supporter of the Missing Children Act known as the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act to protect the rights of children and promise quick police reaction in the disappearance of children.
Despite it's popularity, AMW was briefly cancelled for a month and a half in the fall of 1996 in the wake of high production costs, but protests from politicians, law enforcement officials and viewers successfully prompted Fox to reinstate it. Fifteen years, later, on May 16, 2011, Fox successfully canceled it with the last regular episode airing on June 18, 2011, although the network relegated it to a limited series of specials. However, it returned as a regular weekly series on Lifetime on December 2, 2011. The last original episode aired on October 12, 2012 before the series was officially canceled by Lifetime in March 2013.
The series, The Hunt with John Walsh, is often considered the successor to America's Most Wanted.


America's Most Wanted shares the following cases with Unsolved Mysteries.

​Wanted FugitivesEdit

Missing Persons and Unsolved MurdersEdit

Other CasesEdit

  • Captain D's Murders (Profiled on AMW only)
  • Jaycee Dugard (Profiled on AMW only)
  • Natalee Holloway (Profiled on AMW after the cancellation of Unsolved Mysteries)
  • Tony Luzio (Profiled on AMW after the cancellation of Unsolved Mysteries)
  • Richard McNair (Profiled on AMW after his April 2006 escape, after the cancellation of Unsolved Mysteries)
  • Lisa Myers (Profiled on Unsolved Mysteries; Family attempted to have her case featured on AMW)
  • Bianca Noel Piper (Profiled on AMW after the cancellation of Unsolved Mysteries)
  • Jameika Porch (Profiled on AMW; References to being profiled on Unsolved Mysteries may be erroneous)
  • Tabitha Tuders (Profiled on AMW after the cancellation of Unsolved Mysteries)