Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Polly Klaas

Real name: Polly Hannah Klaas
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Petaluma, California
Date: October 1, 1993


Occupation: Minor
Date of Birth: January 3, 1981
Height: 4'10"
Weight: 80 pounds
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair and eyes.


Details: On October 1, 1993, twelve-year-old Polly Klaas hosted a slumber party at her mother's Petaluma home. At 10:30PM, she was abducted at knifepoint by an unknown assailant. She was never seen again.
Suspects: Polly's friends that were at the slumber party were helped by police sketch artist Jeanne Boylan in making a composite of her abductor.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the October 2, 1994 episode focusing on Jeanne Boylan, who helped solve it. It was also documented on American Justice, The FBI Files and Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case.

Richard Allen Davis

Results: Solved. In December of 1993, two months after Polly's disappearance, evidence was found in a wooded area twenty miles from Petaluma that matched what was used in the kidnapping. Investigators reviewed calls in the area on the day of the kidnapping. They discovered that officers had interacted with a man named Richard Allen Davis, whose car had been stuck in a nearby ditch that night. A palm print found at the abduction scene was matched to him.
Davis was arrested and charged with Polly's kidnapping. He had an extensive criminal record that went back thirty years. On December 4, he confessed to abducting and killing her; he then led police to her remains. On June 18, 1996, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He remains on death row.
The case made national news when actress Winona Ryder, who grew up in Petaluma, helped bring it to the forefront while the search was ongoing. After Davis' conviction, Ryder starred in a film version of Little Women, which had been Polly's favorite book, and dedicated it to her, handing over all her profits from her work to missing child charities and her family.