Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Killing of Polly Klaas

Davis' Revenge

On March 21, 1985, the ruthless couple was back in California, this time in Modesto.  Their pickup truck had a defective taillight.  A police officer pulled them over for a ticket, ran a check, and found the warrants on them for their crimes against Selina Varich.

Davis was sentenced to sixteen years in prison.  He served it at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo.  Here he received training in a legitimate and high-paying skilled trade, sheet-metal working.  Davis' supervisor was quite impressed by the convict's performance.  "The guy was just an excellent sheet-metal worker," he commented with admiration, "the best press-break operator we've ever had here.  Rick had a lot of potential.  With his skills, he could have made $45 an hour."

Lacking the extensive criminal record that Richard Allen Davis had, Sue Edwards received a much lighter sentence for the couple's crimes. She served a mere six months.  In 1988, she married Mike Mrava.  Less than three months later, she was a widow.  Mrava was found dead with his throat cut and a total of 23 stab wounds.  Edwards' boyfriend, Floyd Bailey, confessed to the murder. 

Sue Edwards inherited $300,000 from her husband.  She soon bought a Corvette and used it to visit Davis while he was still behind bars.  The two-of-a-kind lovebirds were soon engaged.

Then Edwards broke it off.

Davis was heartbroken and enraged.

In the meantime, police were investigating what role, if any Edwards might have played in her husband's death.  In the course of their detective work, they discovered that she had never been legally divorced from her first husband, William Edwards.  They prepared to prosecute her for bigamy when the district attorney, Lane Liroff, received an offer of help from an unlikely source: Richard Allen Davis.  He volunteered to testify against his former fiancée.

Thus, Sue Edwards, convicted of bigamy and sentenced to serve six years, was behind bars in 1993 when Davis was paroled for his part in their crime spree.

Davis seemed, to an extent, as if he was straightening out.  He moved into a homeless shelter in San Mateo.  He met his appointments with his parole officer.  He passed his drug tests.

He found a job doing the sheet-metal work at which he was so proficient.  He soon had enough money to buy a white Ford Pinto. 

That was the vehicle he was driving on the night Polly Klaas was kidnapped.





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