America's Most Wanted launches 25th season

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 1 at 12:01 PM

PHOENIX -- When John Walsh's son was kidnapped and murdered 1981, he dealt with it by becoming a crime fighter. He launched a television that became extremely popular -- "America's Most Wanted." On Friday, the show kicks of its 25th season.

Since the show debuted in 1988, AMW has helped find more than 50 missing children. As wonderful as that is, it doesn't necessarily ease Walsh's own pain -- at least not completely.

"I'll always be the father of a murdered child, and that pain will always be there," Walsh said. "Doing this show for 25 seasons has been very therapeutic. I get to help other families. … It's my way of fighting back without being a vigilante."

Walsh checked in with 3TV's Scott Pasmore live via satellite to talk about the show and the case of Jhessye Shockley, the 5-year-old Glendale girl who has been missing since early October.

"I am very, very well aware of that case," Walsh said. "That's a heart-breaking case. There is a huge amount of suspicion on the mother."

Unfortunately, it's not the only heart-breaking case Walsh and his team see.

"We turn down probably 100 cases a week," he said. "That's the really tough thing, to say to people, 'We can't do your case.' … It's very tough to turn people down."

"America's Most Wanted" will air Friday nights on Lifetime. Check your local listings for times.

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