At the time of his final act of savagery he was 38 years old, bulky of frame and his arms and torso were covered in tattoos. His name is Richard Allen Davis and he possesses qualities that are both unique and rare to mankind. He lacks conscience and receives great joy from inflicting pain and suffering upon others.
Such great joy in fact, that his final bloodlust was only satisfied after he had kidnapped, raped, and murdered twelve year old Polly Klaas. He disposed of her remains by dumping her on a garbage pile off a freeway-off ramp, hiding her slight lifeless body under a piece of plywood, hoping that his crime would not be discovered. But it was.
Davis was not regurgitated from Hell into Petaluma so that he could kidnap Polly in the late evening of Friday October 1, 1993. He had been weaving his web of perversion around Polly’s home for quite some time. Witness after witness testified that they had seen him in the weeks prior to the crime.
One boy observed the killer vomiting in Wickersham Park on an early September. He asked the sick man if he needed help. “Get the hell out of here you stupid kid,” was his only response. An artist deliberately avoided the gaze of the man with the scary, darting eyes and the prison tattoos. A teacher, moonlighting as a house painter, unsuccessfully attempted to engage the man with the frightening demeanor in conversation on several occasions as the killer wandered aimlessly around Polly’s neighborhood in early August.
The unbelievable, but all too common criminal history of Polly’s killer spans more than two decades and includes incidents of kidnapping, robbery, assaults with shotguns, handguns, knives and fireplace pokers.
Always, the victims were women, who were alone and vulnerable. Often times they would escape, notify authorities and Davis would return to prison. Finally, he could take it no more.
He had to find a victim that could not, would not, fight back. A small victim that he could control over — perhaps a little girl, under the veil of darkness, where he could hide in the shadows and deny his crimes.
Polly is not dead simply because Davis wanted to eliminate witnesses to his crime. If it were that simple, he could have hidden his face behind a mask. Instead, he leveled incalculable violence upon a little girl who was afraid of the dark and feared the boogeyman.
It was only in the throes of this massive perversion that he was able to achieve the sexual release that was the goal of his attack. Had he not been captured he would have repeated this scenario again, and again, and again.
How do I know these things to be true? Fifteen years ago I spent six months sitting in a courtroom as prosecutors built the case against my daughter’s killer. I listened to psychiatrist after psychologist detail the mind of a sexually sadistic psychopath.
Their arguments were so convincing that he was sentenced to death. He still sits on death row and as he told psychiatrist Lewelen Jones, he “masturbates twice daily and thinks of tying up female victims of past crimes.”
I can think of no better justification for the death penalty.