By Marc Klaas
Last Friday, Richard and Maureen Kanka, John Walsh, Patty Wetterling and I joined President Clinton at an Oval Office ceremony. Except for Ms. Wetterling, we are all the parents of murdered children. The occasion was the signing of Megan's Law, a federal statute mandating that States establish sex offender registries and offer community notification so that parent's can protect their children from convicted molesters. On my return to California I experienced a sadness more profound than any I have felt in the trial. For several minutes, I sat in the coach section of United flight 59, a prisoner to my own tears.
The President has honored me with three such invitations, and I experience the same phenomena every time. The most powerful leader in the world signs yet another law in the name of another dead child. Years of persistent labor culminate in a momentous anti climax. Children are safer and lives will be saved, but Polly, Adam and Megan are still dead, and Jacob is still missing. Things change, but everything stays the same. This stuff is no fun because these people carry a lot of pain. There is fulfillment but no satisfaction in the White House on occasions like this.
Dick Schwarm accompanied the killer to Seduction's, the gift shop where Davis purchased the Rough Ryder condom found on Pythian Road. Twitching on the witness stand, tiny eyes darting around the courtroom, finding peace only in the gaze of his wife and the killer's sister Darlene. Dick said that the killer regularly indulged in alcohol, methamphetamine, and pot without ever "getting out of hand." The behemoth brother in law unsuccessfully tried to establish an alibi for the killer on the night of Polly's murder.
On March 11, 1978, the killer told Psychiatrist Llewelen Jones that he "Masturbates twice daily and thinks of tying up female victims of past crimes." In response to defense attorney Lorena Chandler's question Psychiatrist Leonti Thompson testified that he vividly remembered interviewing the killer on March 7, 1978. Davis showed, "No signs of remorse, no sign of sympathy or compassion for his victims and attempted to use the interview to try to con the examiner."
"No more questions," intoned Ms. Chandler.
Outside the courtroom the Schwarm's talked to reporters about their loss. "It affected everything," the confessed killer's sister sniveled. "I lost my job, my home and the FBI took everything of value out of my house. I lost everything," said the ruddy complexioned woman observed drinking liquor with Davis on a park bench one hundred and fifty yards from Polly's house two weeks prior to the crime.
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