December 5, 1993 – Sad news regarding the kidnapping of Polly Klaas. After weeks of franticly searching for the kidnapped 12 year old, Police disclosed that the body discovered along the highway near Petaluma California on December 4th was indeed that of Polly Klaas. The news came as a grisly shock to the community, who had been on a desperate search for the missing girl since October 1st. Alleged murderer Richard Allen Davis, on the evening of December 4 confessed to kidnapping and murdering Klaas and led investigators to her body. He had buried her in a shallow grave just off Highway 101, about a mile south of the city limits of Cloverdale, California. The grave site is about 20 air miles and about 30 road miles from the search site.
Although Davis admitted to strangling Klaas to death, he refused to give investigators a timeline of the events from October 1. Investigators thought he was fearful that both people who passed him would call the sheriff’s department. It is believed that he killed her before the arrival of deputies and hid her body in the thick brush on the hillside above where his car was stuck. He then waited for an undetermined period of time after being escorted back to Highway 12, about 1.5 miles from where his car was stuck and drove back up to retrieve her body. He was reportedly out of breath, sweating profusely (despite being a cool night) and had twigs and leaves in his hair when contacted by deputies. It is also believed that he had chosen the grave site in advance, since it would not have been discovered by a casual observer. The gravesite area would be directly visible from Highway 101, but not the grave itself. He had to drive from the Indian Rancheria in Ukiah once a week to meet with his parole officer and he would have seen any police activity in the area.
The kidnapping and search for the girl gained national attention and would eventually be lay the foundation for California to adopt the Three Strikes Law.
Meanwhile, school kids in the San Fernando Valley were the targets of attacks and attempted molestations by a suspected pedophile. Police picked up a 45 year old Encino man the previous evening for questioning, but as of news time hadn’t been charged.
And Wisconsin fans who stayed up late to watch the Badgers beat Michigan State in Tokyo took to the streets in Madison to celebrate the schools first trip to the Rose Bowl in 31 years. A few cars were overturned and some store windows were broken as a result of the joyful mayhem.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this December 5th in 1993 as reported by ABC Radio News.