Mark Klaas: The Victim's Voice - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Mark Klaas: The Victim's Voice

When asked about his 12 year old daughter, Polly, this is what Marc Klaas has to say. 

"She was a great kid. She loved the performing arts. She was a wonderful little actress. Like a lot of girls her age, she was starting to come into her own and starting to realize her own potentional."

But all of that potential died in October of 1993 when Polly was kidnapped at knife point from her California home.  Then, she was sexually assaulted and murdered.

The man who committed the crimes, Richard Allen Davis, is now on death row. His criminal background, which included kidnapping and sexual assault convictions, led California to enact a three strikes bill that removes serial criminals from society.

"When Polly was kidnapped, there was nothing there for us. We were in a free fall.  There were no laws to protect us from offenders.  Offenders were put back out on the street.  There was no protocol to be able to search for missing kids," says Klaas.

Since then, Marc has worked on an aggressive child safety agenda. He was alongside President Clinton when he signed the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act in 1994. It's the kind of impact Marc says other victims have had as well.

"Megan's Law: Megan Kanka. The Amber Alert: Amber Hagerman.  Jessica's Law: Jessica Lunsford.  All of those initiatives occurred because of the unyielding advocacy of the parents of these children," says Marc.

Today, he shared Polly's story with hundreds of East Texans who work with crime victims day in and day out, hoping to be the voice for all the victims who can no longer speak for themselves.

Marc Klaas runs two non-profit organizations out of California.  BeyondMissing, Inc., is an internet tool for law enforcement that helps create and distribute fliers of missing children.

The KlassKids Foundation is a resource for the families of abducted children.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting:


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