Marc Klaas, the father of Polly Klaas, the 12-year-old kidnapped and killed girl, discussed how his life was permanently changed after learning of her murder on ABC’s “20/20: Taken in the Night.” Interviews with more family members, friends, and detectives engaged in the subsequent homicide investigation are included in the episode. We have all the information you need to know about the case, including information about Polly’s parents, Marc Klaas and Eve Nichol.
Who Are Marc Klaas and Eve Nichol?
Polly On January 3, 1981, Hannah Klaas was born in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco County, to Marc Klaas and Eve Nichol. But when she was three years old, in 1984, her parents separated. Polly threw a sleepover for her two friends, Kate McLean and Gillian Pelham, on October 1, 1993. According to court records, her mother and her six-year-old younger sister Annie were both living in the Petaluma, California, home at the time. Eve and Annie went to bed at 10:00 p.m., telling the girls not to stay up too late and to keep quiet.
She proceeded to her bedroom, which was divided from Polly’s by a bathroom and an additional bedroom. After a few minutes of reading in bed with Annie at her side, Eve and Annie both dozed out. Around 10:30 at night, a drunken burglar forced his way into Polly’s bedroom while brandishing a knife he had stolen from the Klaas family’s kitchen. At first, he claimed to have good intentions and that his only goal was to make money. Taken aback by the sheer number of people there, he asked if Polly’s mother was home.
With haste, Polly revealed where money was hidden in her jewelry box while appealing for her sister’s and mother’s protection. At first calm, the kidnapper’s attitude changed as things progressed, becoming more and more agitated. The attacker used a silky cloth, cords made from Polly’s Nintendo system, and a strap from her leather purse to bind the three girls’ hands as they dutifully lined up on Polly’s bedroom floor. Silk was also used to make gags. The girls’ heads were covered with pillows that had been taken out of their cases.
Any thought that this was a joke disappeared at this point, especially for Gillian. The culprit escorted Polly out of the room, promising the girls he would just take her to find jewels and return her unharmed once they counted to 1,000. About five minutes had passed since he entered the bedroom by this time. Gillian and Kate departed, started the tally, but became more concerned when Polly did not come back. After gaining their freedom, they quickly sought safety in Eve’s bedroom, where they related the horrific happenings.
After the three girls started a fruitless hunt for Polly throughout the house, the worried mother finally called 911 at approximately 11:00 p.m. Marc started a new chapter in his life after divorcing Eve, moving in with Violet Cheer, whom he jokingly referred to as his “endless, long-term fiancée.” According to the news reports from 1994, Marc and Eve did not communicate much, and he openly said that Polly was the only thing they had in common. He even moved to Petaluma from his home near San Francisco.
Marc Klaas and Eve Nichol Are Working to Prevent Child Violence
Marc quit his job at Hertz and dedicated his life to advancing the Polly Klaas Foundation’s objectives. The organization’s primary goal upon founding was to coordinate Polly’s search, but it later broadened its purview to include the prevention of child abuse. Eve was married to Allan Nichol, who had Jess as one of his children from a previous marriage. After tiny Polly’s decomposing remains were eventually discovered by the authorities more than two months after her kidnapping, Richard Allen Davis was taken into custody and accused of both her kidnapping and murder.
In late September 1996, after being found guilty on all counts, he received a death sentence. But just before he was sentenced, he caused a commotion in the courtroom by accusing Polly’s father of abusing his young daughter. “Just don’t do me like Dad,” the little girl told me as I was guiding her up the slope. That’s why, Richard said, “I would also like to state for the record that the main reason I know that I did not attempt any lewd act that night.” Moments afterward, Marc got up and made a sudden move, yelling profanities while being restrained.
“If I thought for a moment I could get my hands on him, I might have gone for him,” he subsequently stated to reporters. Shortly after Polly’s remains were discovered, March and Violet made the decision to “create meaning out of her death” by pursuing the child safety agenda. Marc has dedicated his public life to attempting to avert a recurrence of his ordeal, supporting laws and regulations meant to safeguard minors. “And let me tell you something, it gave me a purpose in my life, a purpose that was missing before that,” he continued.
He is the founder of the nonprofit KlaasKids Foundation, which supports child safety precautions and helps families across the country whose children disappear. Eve, who now resides in Monterey County, has chosen to process her loss in a more private manner, but she is still connected to the charity that bears her daughter’s name as a founding board member. Upon seeing that California has suspended the execution of all death sentences in 2019, Marc, who was clearly upset, said he “became viscerally angry” but thought it was still fair. In Sausalito, Klaas, Marc, who is currently in his 70s, resides with his spouse, Violet.
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