Polly Klaas, at the age of 12, resided with her mother and younger sister Annie in Petaluma, California, a low crime town which is forty miles from San Francisco, after her mother got separated from her stepfather. They moved to start anew unaware of the repulsive fate that Polly would face. It was October when it happened.
October 1, 1993—Polly invited friends over to have a slumber party. It was at that time that a man was spotted on the sidewalks in front of Polly’s home. But none dare to question the man thinking that he was but someone who was on a nightly stroll. However, as Polly opened the door to her bedroom to get her friends’ sleeping bags, she was surprised by the said thickly man who pointed her with a knife. The said man tied Polly and her friends up. He then took Polly as he ordered her friends to count up to a thousand. Over the next two months, endless search for the missing girl was made not only by her family but also by people who felt sorry for the missing girl. The kidnapper was later identified as Richard Allen Davis.
Davis was already a wanted man from his last parole violation. His criminal records show his numerous arrests. During the 1960’s he was recorded to have been arrested four times, his first assault was when he was arrested for burglary at the age of 12, in Chowchilla. Since then he had been time and again arrested either due to an assault or violations. And by the time he had kidnapped Polly Klaas, his criminal records showed him once again as wanted man for the California Highway had already issued an all points bulletin meaning that any police officer that might encounter Davis should arrest him. It was on November 30 when the police finally arrested Davis as the arresting officer recognized his face from the sketches. It was also when they found his fingerprints in Polly’s room that confirmed him as her kidnapper. Four days later, he led the police to where he had kept Polly’s body, decaying for two months. Richard Davis was sentenced to death.
After Polly’s death, her father, Marc Klaas, founded the Klaas Kids Foundation making him a child’s advocate helping parents’ with children missing or kidnapped. Another was the heartwarming tribute of actress Winona Ryder as she produced Little Women—a story about the March sisters written by Louisa May Alcott. It was this book that Polly was very fond of that when Ryder saw it on Polly’s shelf she decided to make it into a movie as a tribute.
Polly Klaas’ tragic story is but one of the many kidnapped and murder case that shook the whole nation. She is but one of the many kidnapped cases.