By Joe Klaas
Petaluma Police Sergeant Mike Meese did not tell the killer who had just led him to Pollyís body about the unrolled Rough Rider condom found that afternoon at the Pythian Road crime-site.
Meese asked a question at the end of an after-dark police search in which Richard Allen Davis failed to find a gas station where he claimed to have let Polly go to a restroom, when in fact he had already strangled her.
Click here for a courtroom sketch of "Fiber and Hair Location Comparison". For permission to reproduce these images, or for information on court services, call Vicki Behringer (916) 972-8225. "Ever carry a condom with you?"
"No, not that I really needed them," Davis said on audio tape heard early on by the trial jury.
"Did you ever hear of DNA testing?"
"Yeah, theyíve given it to me before I got released out of prison," Davis answered.
"What about the condom they found on the hillside at Pythian Road?" asked KTVU newsman Rob Roth on May 11 when Davis called collect to complain about conditions in the Santa Clara County Jail.
"Donít make it worse than it already is," the killer shot back. "I donít know where it cam from. Itís not the kind I had."
"Only one man ever bought condoms in my store," Jeanette Turner, owner of an adult novelty shop less than two miles from where Davis visited his sister near Ukiah just hours before he kidnapped Polly. "I sold a Rough Rider condom to Davis. "I was in my store only two days that year, September 30 and October 1, to pick up party supplies for my October 2 wedding." Davis admitted he killed Polly the night of October 1, but claimed he never assaulted her sexually.
FBI Special Agent Thomas Lynch compared the condom collected at Pythian Road with sixty most representative brands analyzed at the bureauís Washington laboratory. "The condom found at the crime scene on December 4 was a Rough Rider brand," Lynch testified.
Painting Contractor John Liner, who employed Davis for three weeks in San Mateo before the crime-date, testified that Davis admitted visiting Petaluma twice before he earned enough money to buy a car prior to quitting without notice, leaving Liner "in a jam."
During taped statements to Meese, Davis said he had "never been in Petaluma before in my life," before claiming he kidnapped Polly in a memory blackout from drinking two quarts of malt liquor and smoking a five-dollar joint that "must have been laced with some kind of s***."
Witness Craig Clampitt, friend of Davisí sister Darlene Schwarm, saw Davis at her Coyote Indian Reservation house at least six times before Pollyís murder date. He also saw Davis several times after he helped the killer weld a muffler that had come loose from his Pintoís exhaust system on Saturday morning. Davis appeared untroubled and "as usual" only hours after he dumped Pollyís dead body south of Cloverdale between Ukiah and Pythian Road where the prosecution says he sexually assaulted, then strangled her.
He was drinking beer and smoking marijuana, according to Clampitt, and "seemed to be having no trouble with it at all." The beer drinking and pot smoking continued through dinner, also attended by Anthony Pearson, who remembered it was October 2, the day after Pollyís kidnapping at knife-point. "Itís easy to remember the date," Pearson said. "We were taking inventory that morning" where he worked in Ukiah," and we only take inventory every six months."
All of todayís witnesses, including sheet metal shop manager Victor West, under whom Davis worked in San Mateo "until he saved enough to buy a car, then walked off without telling me," verified that Davis often wore a bandana head-band like the one described by Pollyís two bound and gagged slumber party girlfriends.
Davis now has three strikes on the sex charge, but is not walking off the field yet. Admitting to everything but child-rape, Davis has not pleaded guilty to any of the eleven charges, not even murder. His lawyers attack every prosecution witness and piece of evidence. He is not ready to walk off the field yet as a child-rapist who killed his victim. Then by his own words on tape he will be a "dead man walking," if not by lethal injection, then by that other jury he knows so well...his prison peers who have their own punishment ideas for the one crime they do not tolerate. He may have years of appeals out here, but none in there.
Play ball! Letís get on with the game.
Click here for a courtroom sketch of "Frances May Testify". For permission to reproduce these images, or for information on court services, call Vicki Behringer (916) 972-8225.
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