Boy, look at that poor family. 27 years later, and you'd swear they were looking at a door they expected Adam to walk through any second.
When I took the bus to Calgary last week I was struggling to find a word for the people I always meet at the Greyhound station—undernourished working people with stringy hair and poor dentition who have lived in many places and find themselves doing different jobs that require steel-toed boots every couple of years (which invariably emerges quite early on in conversation). Reading the Adam Walsh wire story was like having a finger jabbed into my chest. That's right, isn't it?—they're the "drifters" you always read about in crime stories!
Reporters use the word like it was some obscure occupational classification—as if "drifter" were a specific, indisputable role in life that you could decide to occupy when you were 18. And, of course, it's never used except in stories about murderers, but there must be lots of drifters who have never killed anyone. Here's a headline you will never see: "HEROIC DRIFTER SAVES FIVE FROM FLAMING BUS".