|“||I would also like to state for the record that the main reason I know that I did not attempt any lewd act that night was because of a statement the young girl made to me while walking her up the embankment: "Just don't do me like my Dad".||”|
— Excerpt from Davis' court statement
Richard Allen "Rick" Davis is an American burglar, one-time rapist, abductor, bank robber and murderer. He is most well-known for being responsible for the passing of California's three-strikes law.
Davis was born on June 2, 1954, to Bob and Evelyn Davis. He was the third of their five children. Both Bob and Evelyn were alcoholics, and according to Davis' attorney, Evelyn was a strict disciplinary (allegedly once burning his hand when she caught Davis smoking). His parents divorced when Davis was eleven. Davis and his siblings stayed with their father, who was sometimes unwilling or incapable of raising them, causing them to have to shuttle between other relatives. Bob also remarried twice, giving Davis two stepmothers (who he loathed). Davis showed signs of being a sociopath at a young age (later being diagnosed with Anti-Social Personality Disorder). He frequently killed stray animals, especially cats who he would burn alive, and dogs he would cut with a knife he carried with him. On October 12, 1973, 18-year old Marlene Voris was found dead from a gunshot. Seven suicide notes were found at the scene. Some believed Davis (19 at the time) had murdered her as he had been at her house when she had a party. Davis later confessed to a psychologist that her death deeply affected him (even going so far as to claim he heard her voice in his head, telling him she wanted to be raped, robbed, or assaulted).
Davis began ranking up a lengthy criminal record, starting at the age of only twelve. He was arrested then on March 6, 1967 for a burglary. He was arrested later again that month on the 24th for forging a $10 money order. On November 15, 1969, Davis was arrested for another burglary. Bob Davis later turned Davis and his brother to authorities for "incorrigibility" several times. After being arrested for a motorcycle theft, Bob suggested to both a judge and a probation officer to have Davis be drafted into the army rather than be sent to a Youth Facility. They accepted and Davis joined the U.S. Army. However, Davis was by no means a model soldier. His military records show many infractions, including AWOL-ing, failure to report, Morphine use, and even fighting. After only thirteen months, Davis was discharged from the Army. Davis was arrested four times in Redwood City in 1973: for two counts of public intoxication, resisting arrest, possessing liquor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, trespassing, several traffic warrants, and more than 21 burglaries. While these charges were punished lightly (only six months in prison and four years of probation), the residents of the area began to hate Davis, so much so that authorities began to fear his life was at risk. After burglarizing San Francisco High School on May 13, 1974, Davis was arrested and sent to a California Medical Facility for a 90-diagnostic study. Davis enrolled in a Alcoholic treatment program, yet quit the next day. After being sentenced to one year for the school burglary, Davis was allowed to briefly leave prison and attend a Native-American alcohol treatment program. Davis did not return and left behind two enraged prisoners, who gave Davis money to buy them drugs from the program and bring them the contraband. They tracked Davis down and shot him in the back in 1975. He survived and later testified against the two prisoners, earning him even more hatred from the other prisoners (labeling him a "snitch"). Davis was placed in protective custody because of this. Davis was released on parole, but was returned for violating its conditions. He was arrested again for auto theft and possessing Marijuana and sentenced to ten days. Davis got probation, but lost it when he yet again committed a burglary and grand theft. He was paroled on August 2, 1976. On September 24, Davis abducted 26-year old legal secretary Frances May from a South Hayward BART station and attempted to sexually assault her. She escaped Davis and hailed down a car (which happened to be being driven by Jim Wentz, a highway patrol officer, who arrested Davis). He was transferred to Napa State Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, where Davis attempted suicide by hanging himself with his bed sheets. He later confessed he faked the suicide attempt so that he could be transferred to the hospital so he could escape. Davis was mistakenly admitted as a patient because of this. On December 16, Davis escaped the hospital and went on a crime spree through Napa lasting four days. During the latter, he nearly bludgeoned a nurse named Marjorie Mitchell to death with a fire poker, stole a shotgun from an animal shelter, and attempted to kidnap a bartender named Hazel Frost (who escaped and nearly killed Davis with a gun in her car). Davis was arrested on the 21st after breaking into the home of a bank employee named Josephine Kreiger. He was sentenced to a maximum of ten years for the crimes spree. After being paroled on March 4, 1982, Davis found both a girlfriend and criminal accomplice in Sue Edwards. Davis assaulted Selina Varich with a pistol and forced her to withdraw $6,000 from her bank account. Davis and Edwards proceeded to rob a Yogurt Cup shop, two banks, a Value Giants store, and a Red Steer restaurant. Davis and Edwards were later caught after an officer pulled them over for a defective taillight. Davis later confessed in an attempt to implicate Edwards, who he thought betrayed him in a plan to help him while in prison. Davis was paroled on June 27, 1993.
Murder of Polly Klaas
On October 1, 1993, at around 10:30pm, Davis broke into the Klaas home while their daughter, Polly Hannah Klaas, was having a slumber party with two friends. Davis entered the bedroom, tied the friends up and put pillow cases over their heads and abducted Polly, all at knifepoint. Before leaving he told her friends to count to 1,000. He later strangled Klaas and hid her body under a thick bush under a shallow grave just off Highway 101. Davis later claimed that Klass' last words were: "Just don't do me like my dad". The ultimate timeline of events that transpired are unknown, as Davis refused to give investigators one. But it is generally believed that Klaas was killed before police arrived, was dumped under a bush, then Davis later moved her body to another grave site.
Davis' vehicle got stuck in a ditch on the private driveway of a woman who employed a babysitter, who found the vehicle and called her to report it. The woman who owned the property left with her daughter and passed by Davis while on the Pythian driveway. She made her way to a service station and called 911 and two deputies were sent to investigate (both of them unaware of the kidnapping at the time because Sonoma Valley units were on Channel 3). They were unable to obtain any wants or warrants despite getting Davis' license number. They also tried to have the property owner have a citizen's arrest but she refused. Eventually a tow truck was able to get Davis' vehicle free and Davis only got away with a FI card filed because there was a beer can in his car (which he hadn't drank). The property owner later found evidence of kidnapping from suspicious items left while loggers were removing trees from the property of November 28. She called the police and they examined the items. Among the items was a pair of torn ballet leggings, which was taken to a crime lab to be analyzed. They searched calls in the area at the time of the kidnapping and found contact with Davis (who was identified due to the FI card filed earlier).
Arrest, Trial, and Incarceration
Davis was arrested earlier on October 19, 1993 in Ukiah for driving under the influence of alcohol. He later failed to appear in court. Davis was arrested again on November 30 for violating his parole. He was then identified as the main suspect in Polly's kidnapping. After long and grueling searching and questioning, Davis was finally brought in and revealed where Klaas' body was. Davis was finally convicted of her murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection. Klaas' father even attempted to attack Davis and had to be restrained by officers in the courtroom. Davis is known to have presented "revolting behavior" in the courtroom, such as taunting Polly's family (sparking national outrage), and even flipping off a camera.
He is currently on death row in San Quentin State Prison. He is reportedly in protective custody because of both an apparent drug overdose and numerous attempts on his life by other prisoners there. He and his attorneys are making various appeals to the jury's decision. Davis' case gained national infamy, mostly due to his previously stated "revolting behavior". His case ultimately led to the passing of California's three-strikes law, which orders felons who commit one horrible felony, and has two other convictions (or a lot, in Davis' case), to serve a mandatory life sentence (which Davis is currently serving, unless his appeals fail and he is executed by lethal injection).
Since Davis only killed one victim, the term "M.O." is somewhat misused. When he killed Polly Klaas, he abducted her from a slumber party, performed "lewd acts" on her, and then strangled her and then burying her in a shallow grave under a thick bush. In the case of his possible victim, Marlene Voris, he shot her in the head with a gun and left seven suicide notes around her body.
- March 6: A victimless burglary
- May 24: A victimless forgery ($10 was forged)
- November 15, 1969: A victimless burglary
- September 15, 1970: A victimless motorcyle theft
- August 1972: His Army discharge (reports of AWOL-ing, failure to report, Morphine use, and even fighting)
- April 21: A victimless burglary
- October 12: Marlene Voris, 18 (possibly; shot in the head; her death was deemed a suicide)
- October 24: More than 20 victimless burglaries
- May 13, 1974: A victimless burglary at San Francisco High School
- July 11: A victimless auto theft
- August 13: A victimless burglary and grand theft
- September 24: Frances Mays, 26 (abducted and attempted to sexually assault; she escaped)
- December 16-21: The Napa Sate crime spree:
- Marjorie Mitchell (survived; bludgeoned with a fire poker)
- A victimless theft at an Animal Shelter (stole a shotgun)
- Hazel Frost (attempted to abduct; she escaped)
- A victimless home invasion
- November 30, 1984: Selina Varich (survived; pistol-whipped and forced to withdraw $6,000 from her bank account)
- Unspecified dates: Five victimless robberies. They are:
- A Yogurt Cup shop
- The Delta National Bank
- Another unnamed bank
- A Value Giant store
- Red Steer Restaurant
- October 1, 1993:
- Polly Klaas, 12 (abducted and strangled)
- Polly's two unnamed friends (tied up at knifepoint, but left alive)
On Criminal Minds
- Season Three
- "Seven Seconds" - Davis was mentioned by Reid, who explains that he killed Polly to prevent her from identifying him. He may have also been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Richard Jacobs (whom he shares his first name with) - Both are pedophilic abductors who targeted girls and had a female accomplice. What's also interesting to note is that a girl named Jessica Davis is also mentioned to have been abducted and killed, a possible reference to Davis, who shares the same surname.
- In addition to being mentioned in the episode, David Westerfield was also mentioned. The two are very similar - Both men have similar names (Alan and Allen, David and Davis) kidnapped a girl from their rooms at night and later killed them, were active in California, were sentenced to death and are both currently incarcerated at Quentin State Prison. Even their physical appearances are very similar.