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Kim Cross to Take Readers Behind the Scenes of Polly Klass Kidnapping
Tuesday, November 7, 2023


Go behind the scenes of one of the most famous true-crime stories of our generation—the kidnapping of Polly Klaas—on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Boise-based writer Kim Cross will present the case through her newly released book “In Light of All Darkness: Inside the Polly Klaas Kidnapping and the Search for America’s Child” during a free presentation at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Ketchum’s Community Library.

The book, which is paced like a thriller and full of insider information on the history and science of crime scene investigation, looks at the case of a 13-year-old who was kidnapped from her bedroom in Petaluma, Calif., in 1993 during a sleepover with two friends. The rarest of all kidnappings—a stranger abduction from the home—triggered one of the largest manhunts in FBI history.

“Earlier this year Kim participated as a writing instructor in our inaugural ‘To Taste Life Twice’ writing seminar,” said Martha Williams, the library’s director of programs and education. “She led an excellent workshop on writing the cinematic scene and guided local writers in how to immerse readers in their stories. She is a generous and talented writer, and her own ability to invite readers into compelling scenes is on full display in her newest book.”

Cross is spending time in residency at the Ernest and Mary Hemingway House as part of the Community Library’s ongoing Writer-in-Residence program. A New York Times Best-Selling author, her stories have been recognized in “Best of” lists by the New York Times, the Columbia Journalism Review and others.

She has written three books: “The Stahl House: Case Study House #22—The Making of a Modernist Icon,” “What Stands in a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South’s Tornado Alley” and her latest book, “In Light of All Darkness.”

Polly Klass’s face not only appeared on the national news every night but it made the cover of People magazine and was distributed on more than eight million flyers as far away as China. Cross had unprecedented access to files, crime scene photos, a videotaped murder confession and inside sources and she strove to tell how investigators pieced together the evidence that led to the arrest and conviction of the kidnapper.

“In her careful hands, Polly’s story isn’t sensationalized, but honored, and we’re left with an appreciation for all who worked tirelessly to solve this case and for the impact of their work on future cases,” said Williams. “It’s a book for lovers of true crime, but also for readers who seek to understand the work that goes into these cases, and the extraordinary research and storytelling that can bring the past to life.”

RSVP to see the presentation in person at The program will be livestreamed but not recorded. To watch live online, click on



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