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05-28-2009, 11:33 AM #1Amateur Zodiac Researcher
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Cheri Jo Bates...Zodiac Victim or not?
On October 30, 1966, Cheri Jo Bates, 18, was studying at the Riverside City College library annex until the library closed at 9 p.m. Investigators suspect that her Volkswagen parked outside the library was tampered with prior to her leaving the library. The distributor coil and the condenser had been pulled out and the middle wire of the distributor was disconnected. Police believe that when she tried to start the car the person who disabled it approached her and offered his help.
Somehow he lured her into a secluded dark driveway which sat between two empty houses, where police believe the two sat for about an hour and a half. The man later attacked Bates, beating her, slashing at her face and cutting her a total of 11 times, seven of which nearly decapitated her.
Clues found at the scene included a size 10 heel-print, a Timex watch with a torn seven-inch wristband displaying the time 12:23, fingerprints and a palm print, skin tissue underneath the victim's fingernails and hair and blood in her hands.
On November 29, 1966, two identical letters were sent to the Riverside Police and the Riverside Press-Enterprise by someone claiming to be responsible for killing Bates. The letters included a poem titled "The Cofession"[sic] which offered details of the murder that only the police and the killer knew about. The letters also included a warning that she was not the first or the last of his victims. Many believe the tone of the letter was very similar to that of the Zodiac letters mailed after the Vallejo murders.
In December 1966 a custodian at the Riverside City College discovered a poem carved into the underside of a folding desk. The poem, titled "Sick of living/unwilling to die" had a tone similar to that of the Zodiac as well as handwriting which looked like some found in the Zodiac's letters. Some believe the author, who signed the poem with the initials "rh" was describing the murder of Bates. Other theorize that the letter was written by a student who had unsuccessfully tried to kill themselves. However, Sherwood Morrill, one of California's top Questioned Documents examiners, was of the opinion that the true author of the poem was the Zodiac. Six months after the murder of Bates three nearly identical letters were received by the Riverside Press, the Riverside police and Cheri Jo Bates' father. The letters all contained more postage than was necessary(like Zodiac would later do) and two of the letters were signed with a symbol which looked like the letter Z next to the number three. The Zodiac letters sent in the 1970s all contained excessive postage, symbol-type signatures and the threat that more murders would follow.
Here is the poem that was etched onto the desktop:
Sick of living / unwilling to die
if red I
all over her new
it was red anyway. life draining into an
someone ll find her
just wait till
Here i found another article about a girl in a "red dress" that was found dead:
Headline from 12/19/66 Modesto Bee
"Woman's Body Is Found On Cliff
TIBURON (UPI)—The badly decomposed body of a woman
was found Sunday on a cliff by a young hunter. Authorities said
the body had lain in the underbrush for several months about 20
feet below Paradise Drive. An autopsy will be conducted to determine
cause of death. She was wearing a red dress.They found no Identification on the
body. Deputies said they have no report of a missing woman
matching the description of the body."
She was dead for several months.That means,she was dead before Cheri Jo Bates,so when the person sent the letter saying "she was not the first,and she will not be the last",he may have been telling the truth.She may have been the girl in the "red dress" that the desktop poem was about.
I have tried to research more to find out if her identity was ever determined,but was unable to find more info.
Remember in Bates "CONFESSION" letter, sent Nov 29, 1966, it was written about CJB: " SHE IS NOT THE FIRST AND SHE WILL NOT BE THE LAST "
Zodiac later wrote the word PARADICE in one of his letters.
So the couple interesting things here are that this unidentified woman was found in a RED dress,on PARADISE Drive
05-30-2009, 12:10 AM #2
Interesting. glad to have you here..The Zodiac has fascinated me (and scared me) for a good long time.Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.---Patrick Moynihan
Living in the
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05-30-2009, 12:20 AM #3Amateur Zodiac Researcher
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05-31-2009, 12:59 PM #4Registered User
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Im not entirely sure he killed Cheri Jo ....however he may very well have been the one writing letters to the police investigating the case.
But nothing concerning Zodiac would surprise me.
05-31-2009, 11:41 PM #5Amateur Zodiac Researcher
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The Bates Confession letter..Was it Zodiac?
In my short time as a member of this forum,i have seen that there are some really great investigative minds here,and i would like to hear some thoughts & opinions on the Bates case. It is important to point out that there were some important pieces of evidence left at the scene. A mens Timex watch(which i believe was traced to a miltary base px or something along those lines)and also a military boot print,sz. 8-10"(reminds me of the berryessa track)
Included a copy word for word here of the Bates "confession" letter. The "confession" letter from 11/29/66 regarding Bates,may or may not really have been from her killer.And that killer may or may not have been Zodiac.
THE CONFESSIONBY____________ SHE WAS YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL BUT NOW SHE IS BATTERED AND DEAD. SHE IS NOT THE FIRST AND SHE WILL NOT BE THE LAST I LAY AWAKE NIGHTS THINKING ABOUT MY NEXT VICTIM. MAYBE SHE WILL BE THE BEAUTIFUL BLOND THAT BABYSITS NEAR THE LITTLE STORE AND WALKS DOWN THE DARK ALLEY EACH EVENING ABOUT SEVEN. OR MAYBE SHE WILL BE THE SHAPELY BRUNETT THAT SAID NO WHEN I ASKED HER FOR A DATE IN HIGH SCHOOL. BUT MAYBE IT WILL NOT BE EITHER. BUT I SHALL CUT OFF HER FEMALE PARTS AND DEPOSIT THEM FOR THE WHOLE CITY TO SEE. SO DON'T MAKE IT TO EASY FOR ME. KEEP YOUR SISTERS, DAUGHTERS, AND WIVES OFF THE STREETS AND ALLEYS. MISS BATES WAS STUPID. SHE WENT TO THE SLAUGHTER LIKE A LAMB. SHE DID NOT PUT UP A STRUGGLE. BUT I DID. IT WAS A BALL. I FIRST CUT THE MIDDLE WIRE FROM THE DISTRIBUTOR. THEN I WAITED FOR HER IN THE LIBRARY AND FOLLOWED HER OUT AFTER ABOUT TWO MINUTES. THE BATTERY MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT DEAD BY THEN. I THEN OFFERED TO HELP. SHE WAS THEN VERY WILLING TO TALK TO ME. I TOLD HER THAT MY CAR WAS DOWN THE STREET AND THAT I WOULD GIVE HER A LIFT HOME. WHEN WE WERE AWAY FROM THE LIBRARY WALKING, I SAID IT WAS ABOUT TIME. SHE ASKED ME, "ABOUT TIME FOR WHAT?" I SAID IT WAS ABOUT TIME FOR HER TO DIE. I GRABBED HER AROUND THE NECK WITH MY HAND OVER HER MOUTH AND MY OTHER HAND WITH A SMALL KNIFE AT HER THROAT. SHE WENT VERY WILLINGLY. HER BREAST FELT WARM AND VERY FIRM UNDER MY HANDS, BUT ONLY ONE THING WAS ON MY MIND. MAKING HER PAY FOR ALL THE BRUSH OFFS THAT SHE HAD GIVEN ME DURING THE YEARS PRIOR. SHE DIED HARD. SHE SQUIRMED AND SHOOK AS I CHOCKED HER, AND HER LIPS TWICHED. SHE LET OUT A SCREAM ONCE AND I KICKED HER IN THE HEAD TO SHUT HER UP. I PLUNGED THE KNIFE INTO HER AND IT BROKE. I THEN FINISHED THE JOB BY CUTTING HER THROAT. I AM NOT SICK. I AM INSANE. BUT THAT WILL NOT STOP THE GAME. THIS LETTER SHOULD BE PUBLISHED FOR ALL TO READ IT. IT JUST MIGHT SAVE THAT GIRL IN THE ALLEY. BUT THAT'S UP TO YOU. IT WILL BE ON YOUR CONSCIENCE. NOT MINE. YES, I DID MAKE THAT CALL TO YOU ALSO. IT WAS JUST A WARNING. BEWARE...I AM STALKING YOUR GIRLS NOW. CC. CHIEF OF POLICE ENTERPRISE
First,(which i already have noticed before)you have the major and obvious things that make it look like Zodiac was the killer. Taunting the police,writing the paper,misspelling easy words like:
to, instead of too
In addition,the writer seems to know some pretty detailed info such as:
" I FIRST CUT THE MIDDLE WIRE FROM THE DISTRIBUTOR. THEN I WAITED FOR HER IN THE LIBRARY AND FOLLOWED HER OUT AFTER ABOUT TWO MINUTES. THE BATTERY MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT DEAD BY THEN"
"SHE LET OUT A SCREAM ONCE AND I KICKED HER IN THE HEAD TO SHUT HER UP. I PLUNGED THE KNIFE INTO HER AND IT BROKE. I THEN FINISHED THE JOB BY CUTTING HER THROAT."
"YES, I DID MAKE THAT CALL TO YOU ALSO. IT WAS JUST A WARNING"
The above items seem to indicate knowledge of what happened to Bates.The question is how much was info that the writer could have read in the papers or saw on tv? Remember that Zodiac didnt mention this attack until after all of the 1968 and 1969 murders until it was mentioned in the press that Bates may have been a Zodiac victim. When Zodiac wrote to the papers for the 1st time,he wrote "Dear Editor,This is the murderer of the 2 teenagers last christmass and the girl on the 4th of July" He never mentions,"plus the girl from 3 years ago in Riverside". So perhaps he didnt kill her,and knew nothing of the Bates murder,or perhaps he did kill her but didnt mention it since Riverside was pretty far from Vallejo and San Fran,and figured the police wouldnt even know which murder he was referring to if he mentioned the Bates killing.In addition,when Zodiac wrote on Brian Hartnell's car door after the Berryessa attack,he only took made a note of the Dec 1968 attack and July 4th attack in addition to the Hartnell/Sheppard attack,once again not mentioning the Bates murder.
A clue here?
"BUT ONLY ONE THING WAS ON MY MIND. MAKING HER PAY FOR ALL THE BRUSH OFFS THAT SHE HAD GIVEN ME DURING THE YEARS PRIOR"
If the writer actually is the murderer,and he is telling the truth,then perhaps he did know her.I know police suspected an ex boyfriend of hers,but i wonder if they checked with her friends to see if she was freaked out by any guys in particular?
As an investigator,i would have checked out witnesses in the library,since this writer claims "THEN I WAITED FOR HER IN THE LIBRARY AND FOLLOWED HER OUT AFTER ABOUT TWO MINUTES"
If this is the case,and really happened,who saw what? And did Bates go to the library on a regular basis,at any day or time? Perhaps this writer/stalker knew her pattern?
One thing that makes this writer sound like he is NOT Zodiac,was the way he says "BUT I SHALL CUT OFF HER FEMALE PARTS AND DEPOSIT THEM FOR THE WHOLE CITY TO SEE" and "HER BREAST FELT WARM AND VERY FIRM UNDER MY HANDS". There was never any evidence that Zodiac did anything sexually with any of his victims,whereas the writer of this letter makes it sound like he has some sexual issues.
So we have 2 possibilities here.The writer of this letter either was OR wasnt Zodiac. 50/50 odds. If he is Zodiac that raises some more questions.Did he know Bates as he claimed to? If so,he most likely knew her either from High School or college,or worked at a diner,gas station,or some other place she went to.Perhaps a fellow student(which would make Zodiac younger than most people thought)or maybe a school professor,janitor,etc. Bates graduated from Ramona HS in Riverside in 1966(June i believe)and was killed in October 1966. So there is a 4 month gap from graduating HS to starting college.Lets assume she started college in Sept 1966. That means if she already knew her attacker in Sept,it was probably someone from HS,but if she met them after Sept,that means she had a 1-2 month window to meet her killer.I would work hard and talk to all her friends and fellow students from her graduating class,and at her new college to try to pinpoint a suspect.Again,this is all contingent on her really knowing the letter writer in the first place like he states in the letter. I would also look at any people with military backgrounds that Bates knew,or perhaps students that had been in the military,maybe just back from the war,etc.Even if they were able to catch Cheri's killer,and it didnt turn out to be Zodiac,it would still be a great relief to her family.
By the way,here are two more pieces of evidence that makes it look like Zodiac killed Cheri Jo Bates(or at least took credit for it back in 1967) In April 1967,someone wrote to a paper and said:
"BATES HAD TO DIE THERE WILL BE MORE Z"The "Z" at the end of the letter looked actally like a Z with a little number 3 coming off of it,some people wonder if it actually is a Z.I have heard people say it looks like a 3 and an L I will include a copy of the image here.Also the envelope that was sent used double postage as Zodiac often did.
Lastly,the desktop poem found at Riverside college where Bates was killed,was considered by handwriting experts to be the same writing as that of Zodiac.
06-05-2009, 07:51 PM #6Registered User
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Zodiac the legend...
The Zodiac story is one which contains many open ends and questions. The person who wrote the letters to the San Francisco Chronicle claiming to be Zodiac and who terrorized the California area was obviously a very sick individual, who most likely killed several of the victims he claimed.
But two things which have helped build his "legend" are first that he probably claimed victims whom he had NOT killed, and secondly that police and investigators/writers have sometimes credited him with other unsolved murder cases. It is also possible that there were a few copycat killings in later years.
There are probably quite a few explanations for this, but first I would like to comment about this specific case, of Cherri Jo Bates' murder. As pointed out, "Zodiac" did not initially claim to have killed her, even though there is a lot of evidence to indicate that he did. Back then (and even today in some places) police did not connect the dots with other cases outside their jurisdiction. Cherri Jo's death was unsolved, and while her case was probably still "open" police had pursued all leads up to that point and the case had gone cold. It was a newspaper writer who made the initial connection between her case and those of the Zodiac in San Francisco area.
Why would Zodiac NOT claim to be Cherri Jo's killer? Two possible reasons: first that maybe he wasn't the killer, the second that he was the killer, but because Riverdale was a much smaller place, he could be more easily identified if the connection was made.
When one reads of the Zodiac case, there is often a "military" connection mentioned. The shoes/prints, the weapons, the watch, the haircut, the military style glasses, the Presidio base, the military jargon which he uses in letters, all point to a possible military background. That in and of itself is not positive proof that Zodiac killed Cherri Jo, but the connections are well noted.
Remember, that there were quite a number of serial killers in and out of California in the 1960's and 70's - many of them well known and others who probably remain unknown. There was quite a bit of over-lap when it came to MO and area of murders.
06-05-2009, 09:23 PM #7Amateur Zodiac Researcher
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Richard,good points.Its scary how many murderers there wer in Calif in those days. I agree that Zodiac may not have took credit for the Bates attack,because he was afraid someone could connect her to him. But,if he is the one that wrote the notes to Riverside police,it was an early run for his later letters. Even if he didnt kill her,he may have read about her,and still mailed the anonymous letters.In one letter to Riverside police,the writer said the knife tip broke off inside Bates.I have not read anyplace that it is true,but then again,police may have wanted that kept secret,in case they found a suspect with a knife that was missing the tip.
As far as the military angle,he may have been military,or maybe was a wannabe,who knows.The stuff he owned that was military may have been bought at an army surplus store,or bu an acquaintance that was in the military
06-06-2009, 12:08 AM #8Registered User
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I read off and on about this Zodiac for over 10 years or more, So I am not a newbie but I am sure some of you got more time into this than I have.. That one reason I am glad to see some of you on here, You now can get a lot more idea's about this case out in the open now and work together with out fear of being banned..
I think pretty strong Zodaic had been military or around it including his home life for years( Navy in my wild guess) at some time and could still been in Reserve's or very possible active during some of the crimes.. Or possible grown up as a kid under a parent with a 20+ year Naval or Military Career.. Too many small thing point this way..
And I think If he was in military.. He was at some time force out under a mental discharge. More than likely something to do with very young underage girl's on the post or local area town where he was station and got him in trouble with MP's & LE over that.. small girls would be the only ones that show him any attention at all that he so much crave..
He had very strong hate of adult women but he was a huge Mothers Boy.. But all the adult women around his age they never would date him I guess they though he was a creep or something...Notice they allway's got a more brutal attacked than the men did in every case I read about.. This should been 180 degrees different, The men would been a greater threat to him..
A lot of my untrained worth nothing background on him is base on this and other serial killers I read about... Notice untrained atleast I admit it and open to new idea's..
He live there or lived there before in some of these towns such as Vallejo Ca.. He moved through that town way too easy to be a outsider.. But mainly some of the sub's of San Fran. Ca area..
But if he know any of his victims very well at all it had to been Cheri Jo Bates If he did kill her...
Notice in that letter he said she turn him down a lot... I quote from letter ""MAKING HER PAY FOR ALL THE BRUSH OFFS THAT SHE HAD GIVEN ME DURING THE YEARS PRIOR. "'
Myself I allway thought if he messed up anywhere this was it...In all his bragging to police & newspapers .... He know Cheri for years possible live at one time very near her to see her atleast few times a week, They very well could been 4 years give or take few years difference in there age's but my guess they only lived few blocks if that much from each other at one time..
Just the way he looked in the wanted posters I too allways thought police age him too old... He just has that look that makes people think his older than he really is... You seen the type before could buy bottle's of Wiskey when he 15 and never get IDed ..
Myself I never could find as much background as I wanted to on Cheri but this very well could lead to a good suspect if ever find more personal infromation on her in the about 10 to 18 year old life range she had..
06-10-2009, 05:26 PM #9
One question I've had in Cheri's murder that I still haven't discovered an answer to... IF (and of course this would be a big if) the watch discovered at the scene is still in evidence somewhere, has it ever been tested for DNA? This was reported to be a rather large honkin' watch, as I remember reading. As anyone who wears a watch for any length of time knows, the back of a watch tends to collect..."debris" in large amounts (from normal daily activities, sweating, etc).
Just a random thought.
06-10-2009, 05:43 PM #10Amateur Zodiac Researcher
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Great question! Guee the only way to know is to see if Riverside PD has it still in evidence. But,you still need a suspect to compare it to,and the DNA may be degraded by now
06-10-2009, 07:39 PM #11
There's nothing like a tip-toe through the CODIS to see what one may find....
02-01-2011, 11:40 AM #12Registered User
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Cheri Jo Bates Murder...
Robert Graysmith, in his book Zodiac, seems to think that Cheri Jo was an early Zodic victim and he further advances his theories about the identification of Zodiac in his later book Zodiac Unmasked and in the recent Zodiac movie.
The writer of all the Zodiac letters and messages never claimed Cheri Jo as a victim and never included her in his "body count" signoffs. He did, however, congratulate LE on discovering his earlier work and stated that there were many more.
Although thought by many to be a Zodiac victim, this case has never been solved officially.
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02-01-2011, 03:16 PM #13Registered User
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where is the evolution?
I have read that often there is a progression that results in the 'birth' of a serial killer.
Sometimes arson and then small animals get tortured & killed and then
children get attacked and then older children & then young women and so on.
So where is the 'evolution' of this killer? The only thing I have seen so far that even hints
at this evolution is a poem (carved or written into a school desk) that was
thought to possibly have been Zodiac's work.
If he sprang 'full bloom' into existence was there a triggering event?
What flipped the switch to suddenly turn on the killer mode?
I doubt this case was his very first kill, if it was actually his kill.
I always thought this particular killing seemed impersonal, just another set up thing.
02-06-2011, 10:34 AM #14Registered User
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caught the flu
Soon after that last post of mine I had to go to E.R. where I tested positive for
the respiratory flu. They wanted to keep me in hospital a couple days
but I live only 5 mins away so I had them give me a breathing treatment
and send me home with some meds and the promise I would return if things got worse.
So I apologize if my post seemed a bit off.
It is hard to do a good job when you are that sick.
I do hope Zodiac gets its own forum area.
One thing I have noticed about this killer is that if you look at his killings without
reading the hype and the words & letters he sent in then the killings
look different somehow. The pattern reads different to me then.
It is like completely muting the sound when watching a movie. You may begin to notice
differernt things. You might see it differently.
I think he wrote things to throw up a smoke screen to keep people from
seeing just which killings he had & had not done because without the screening hype
someone might notice something about his attacks that might lead to him being caught.
I think he fancied himself to be a master of deception because he knew
what evil was inside him but instead of being mystified as to why people
could not see he was a monster (AS BTK was mystified at first) Zodiac
concluded it because he was a master of deception.
So he decided to go with his strength believing it would shield him from being found out.
He liked planning things out, probably dreaming of what it would be like but in some of his killings
he liked to drive to & from the scene of the crime, strike fast & leave.
Driving was something he seems to have really enjoyed.
The Bates case did involve a car too if I remember right
(at least the alleged sabotage of one) but it was different in some ways.
It took longer to accomplish than some of his other crimes and was a bit riskier.
It may be why some of the later killings were simplified and faster.
Sorry I don't yet have much to contribute but I do think about zodiac
and mull over the killings from time to time.
When I think of a helpful bit I will pass it along.
02-06-2011, 05:23 PM #15Registered User
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While I'm not certain this was a Z attack, there are enough similarities that I keep an open mind to the possibility.If coincidence never happened, there wouldn't be a word for it.
02-07-2011, 04:01 AM #16Registered User
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It has been quite awhile since I read all the available material (that I could find) on
the zodiac killings so I do not remember all the cases mentioned by
everyone that thought a case might have a tie-in to Zodiac.
The Bates case may well be some of his work. Keeping an open mind is a good thing.
As for the Domingos & Edwards case, I don't know but it does show a killer
that does not mind attacking couples.
It also seems to be a case of just being there to do the kill
and then leave.
(I also read the post you linked.)
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02-08-2011, 11:11 PM #17Amateur Zodiac Researcher
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RE; The Bates case- Exactly a month after teh Bates murder, The killer (or someone claiming to be the killer) sent in a "confession letter" with details of the crime to the local paper. Exactly 6 months after the murder,police, the local paper, and the Father of Bates, all got hand printed letters saying that "Bates had to die, there will be more". The writing was disguised, but there appears to be a Z-LIKE symbol at the bottom of each letter. Soon after, there was a desktop poem found by janitors in Riverside college where Bates was killed. It was etched into the desktop, and years later, a writing expert that worked on the Zodiac case decided the desk poem was the writing of Zodiac, thus the connection or apparent connection was linked. When it appeared in the papers Zodiac sent in a letter giving the cops credit for stumbling across his Riverside activities, and he stated "you are only finding the easy ones, there are a hell of alot more down there" (meaning southern CA)
As far as the Domingos/Edwards case, it is indeed very similar to the Zodiac attack at Lake Berryessa in that the couple was attacked at a secluded beach location. The killer used both a knife & a gun, and more interestingly, pre-cut lengths of clothesline. Like the Zodiac attack at Lake Berryessa, rape & robbery were not a motive.
03-02-2012, 11:17 PM #18Registered User
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If Cheri Jo Bates was a Zodiac victim, then she was the first. He crowed so much about it that it is inconceivable that she could have been any other than his first victim. Usually, Zodiac left only a single letter concerning a certain murder or sometimes left only a cryptic clue (and, in some cases, literally cryptic) that he had murdered someone. But Cheri Jo Bates is completely different. Zodiac wrote a letter to the local police which he entitled “The Confession” detailing the murder; he sent a short, taunting letter to Joseph Bates (Cheri Jo’s father) and sent identical ones to the police and to the Press-Enterprise (a Riverside newspaper) that simply read, “BATES HAD TO DIE THERE WILL BE MORE”; he scratched a sick poem into a desktop in the Riverside Community College Library concerning the murder signing it “rh”. In all cases, he promised that more murders would follow. He also signed his “BATES HAD TO DIE…” letters with what appears to be a stylized “Z”. He admitted years later in another letter that he had, in fact, killed Bates (not mentioning her by name but rather confessing to his “Riverside activities”). All this demonstrates that he might have already had the Zodiac idea in his mind and had been toying with it for some time, probably since his teens.
Zodiac lied a couple of times in his letters about the killing of Bates. He stated, “SHE IS NOT THE FIRST AND SHE WILL NOT BE THE LAST….” She was the first in all likelihood. He also stated, “MISS BATES WAS STUPID. SHE WENT TO THE SLAUGHTER LIKE A LAMB. SHE DID NOT PUT UP A STRUGGLE. BUT I DID.” The crime scene suggests otherwise. According to the police report, “The churned-up ground where they had struggled looked like a freshly plowed field.” Others have mentioned the broken watch nd the skin under her fingernails. This would indicate that Bates not only put up a struggle but came close to overpowering her attacker--something that someone like Zodiac with his ego would be loath to admit. This is also a fact that would again indicate this was Zodiac's first victim. He didn't realize how strong a teenaged girl with her adrenaline pumping could be and it nearly cost him everything. That was a mistake he would never make again.
What is odd is that the latest Bates could have left the RCC Library would have been shortly before 9:00 p.m. when the place closed. Yet witnesses reported hearing a woman’s screams at around 10:30 or so (the medical examiner confirmed that Bates died about that time). In his confession, the killer stated that he had previously pulled a wire out of the distributor cap on Bates’s VW before entering the library. He said he waited about two minutes after she left before he went outside. She was unsuccessful in getting her car started. The killer offered to help but pretended not to know what was wrong. He told her that he could give her a lift and that his car was down the street and they began walking. Then, according to the killer, he told Bates that it was about time. “About time for what?” she asked. “About time for you to die!” he said, grabbing her around the throat and pulling a knife and the struggle was on. Yet, this struggle could hardly have taken an hour-and-a-half. They might have messed with the VW for maybe a half an hour at the most and the struggle could not have lasted more than a few minutes. That leaves at least an hour unaccounted for. If the Zodiac’s watch had the correct time and it stopped at 12:23 being damaged during the attack, then he appears to have spent nearly three and a half unaccountable hours with his victim before killing her. But at the very least, we have one lost hour. What transpired between Bates and her killer during that time? Perhaps Bates did not return to her car immediately, but went somewhere else for an hour and a half. If so, where and with whom?
One thing Zodiac realized about his killing of Cheri Jo Bates was the need to work out and stay strong. Zodiac worked out regularly after this murder. Evidence of murders attributed to him have told investigators that he was immensely strong. He appears to have hurled bodies over tall fences and over wide ravines. The Lake Berryessa attacker was a large, stocky man. Witnesses who had seen the mystery man who antagonized and eventually murdered Darlene Ferrin reported that he too was powerfully built.
04-09-2012, 02:37 AM #19Registered User
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Some NEW never before seen FBI documents in the Zodiac case, obtained by a FOIA request from Morf. They deal with the murder of Cheri Jo Bates, and they show that the local suspect favored by the Riverside PD was absolutely eliminated as the source of the mtDNA from the hair found in her hand. They also show IMO that this was very likely a murder done by Zodiac, as other evidence suggests, and that the hair of the killer was BROWN.
04-09-2012, 03:35 AM #20Registered User
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Ive always felt in my heart she was a Zodiac victim especially looking at the letters.
I think possibly Zodiac was afraid he was too personally involved with the Riverside killing and hadnt CYA'd enough so he didnt immediatly connect it to his Vallejo string of murders.
But by the time Paul Avery made the connection I think Zodiac was afraid some of his marquee power was fading with the papers and his ego made him take credit for it.
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04-09-2012, 10:27 AM #21Registered User
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Edited to add
A friend of mine many years ago got into a fight and got a black eye and bloody lip. He was too ashamed to go to work (as he worked in an office and had to see well to do customers)
He took 3 weeks off work for the injuries to disappear. Maybe Z waited a month before sending the first of his letters because Cheri Jo had infact given him some facial injuries.
04-11-2012, 08:12 PM #22Registered User
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- Jul 2009
Given that hair color changes over time, and with exposure to sun light, and given the problems of subjective perceptions of color and word meanings, I can give a little slack to RPD for saying the hair was "sandy blonde", which happens to match local suspect "Barnett", while the FBI report says it is "brown."
More troubling is that even after the DNA comparison which excludes Barnett, the RPD still kept the focus on him as a suspect, and refused to pursue the possible Zodiac connection to the case. I can personally state that in 2009 and 2010 Detective Steve Shumway of the RPD refused to look at or consider evidence pointing to the Zodiac as the killer of Cheri.
I am not going to contact RPD at this time. I will try to get other Zodiac and EAR/ONS investigators to access the actual mtDNA results for comparison purposes. Now that I have a case# and lab# that will be a little easier.
Also the report indicates FOUR hairs found on the blod clot in Cheri's hand. IMO it could be possible ONE hair came from a police officer or lab tech. But not FOUR hairs on a BLOOD CLOT.
IMO these hairs are from the killer, and the killer was almost certainly Zodiac. I want to get this mtDNA compared to my POI's mtDNA, that from other good suspects and to any mtDNA from other possibly related unsolved crimes like EAR/ONS and Percy. Thanks Morf you gave me more work to do! But it just may lead to a breakthrough, I am going to try anyway.
I see that a person claiming the whole Zodiac case is a hoax says the mtDNA used to compare to local suspect 'Barnett' was aged and faulty. These reports show that is false as they show a good sample was obtained and Barnett was conclusively cleared as a nonmatch. Also for those who say the hair in Chei's hand could have come from a cop that seems highly unlikely as these reports show it was actually FOUR hairs in a blood clot.
The handwriting, letter, word usage, spelling, MO and circumstantial evidence IMO shows Zodiac very likely killed Bates.
Then we have the early reports from the RPD that say the confession letter writer was the killer because he knew details that had not been released, then years later when a jailhouse informant turned them onto Barnett, they backtracked on everything pointing to Zodiac and said all the letters came from cranks.
Go to google and type in "jailhouse informant" and "wrongful conviction".
California just signed a law barring jailhouse snitch testinmony unless it is backed by physical evidence, because false testimony from jailhouse informants have been responsible for hundreds of false convictions. Of all the convictions overturned by new DNA evidence, at least 15% were found to have involved utterly false and invented testimony from jailhouse informants or informants seeking to reduce charges or prison time.
Was Barnett really playing basketball and then Cheri called him, and then did he really shout out "That ***** is going to the library!" I say no way. False story by a jailhouse informant. It makes no sense at all. Its contrived and melodramatic and rings false. Why would she tell him she was at the library? Why would he care? Why would he shout it out for several people to hear? Why did nobody else report this? Why did Cheri herself never reveal any concerns about Barnett? Why did no other friends of Cheri or Barnett ever report any of this?
For me personally these reports show that the four hairs in a blood clot almost certainly were from Cheri's killer, the killer was not Barnett, and since all the other evidence in the case IMO points strongly to Zodiac as the probable killer, that means for me these hairs and this mtDNA are very likley from Zodiac. I am going to use what contacts I have and what energy I can muster to try to get them compared to Kaczynski, other good POI's and DNA from other unsolved cases. I think this is the best evidence we have.
Also in regards to the evidence pointing to the Zodiac Killer/Ted Kaczynski as a suspect in the Tylenol Murders, if the FBI wants to actually solve that case they could easily compare the DNA here in the Bates case, which is very likely the genetic profile of the Zodiac Killer (and IMO also Ted Kaczynski), to the DNA they have in the Tylenol case.
06-23-2012, 06:16 AM #23Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Hey guys, found some handwriting I think looks similar to both the Cheri Jo Bates letters and the Zodiac letters. It's from a letter written by Martin Ray Smartt. The pictures are here, http://www.keddiemurdersfilm.com/gal...les/index.html . He is a suspect in the Keddie case. According to the "Marty" timeline at the keddie site, http://www.keddiemurdersfilm.com/timeline.php Aged 17, he married 07-24-66 in Imperial County,Ca. Then he and his wife have 3 kids between 67-71, all born in San Bernardino,Ca. Then after returning from Vietnam in 69 he moved to Pheonix. Not sure about the timeline?
letter_envelope.jpg love_note.jpg post_it_note.jpg
Not sure if i've picked the best Bates samples, and could'nt fit any Zodiac samples but i'm sure you've got your own.
I just think the writing is similar, and he appears to have been living in the general vicinity, at the right time.(for Bates)
Just wanted to share
06-23-2012, 09:00 PM #24
Good find, but wouldn't that put him out of the area at the time of occurance with the other suspected Zodiac crimes?( am am confident he killed the # of people he claimed to have killed, putting him on the scale of Gary Ridgeway)
I have often considered that the Zodic had a few admirers and that a few of the crimes could have been copy cats.
I have a suspect who is sixty four, vary capable(as I watched him swim acroos a category 3 river), so I have no doubt he would/could still be alive and able to kill.
Chery Jo Bates I think is one of the strongest links, as her father worked at an ordinance factory...and that zodiac sign may represent the sights/view of a gunship(this connection also is a kenning in Norse and may identify my suspect by name-KEN). I am most confident that the Zodiac used runes and multiple meanings of things in his letters and am concentating on finding clues within the letters themselves.
I notices that your yellow envelope is not plastered with extra stamps....that was one of the letters you speak of, but not sure it was a Zodiac letter(from the guy claiming to be the zodiac).
Please read the Zodiac Name post please, I need some help in determining if I am actually cracking the code. I believe I am on the right track.
06-23-2012, 09:18 PM #25
Your letter from the perp you speak of is indeed a close match to Zodiac writting in my HO.
I never considered really a legion of killers working for satan at the same time, but the more I study this case, the deeper it goes, connecting to hundreds of crimes and perps in that area of time.
The yellow forgive me letter...where is the link for that one?This one I do not think is ZODIAC himself, but rather a folower who coppied Zodiac(by the tone) I do not think Zodiac is sorry.
I looked at picture #43 and think it is possible to be a zodiac writting match( I would rate your match a 9.5 of 10. But there are a few Zodiac letters that I am suspicious to be of other authors. Maybe there was a group of killers. I often think there may have been an SLA connections deeper than the public was aware of.
I have been looking into my suspects hometown data, and found his highschool town had a letter sent from the Zodiac(pleasanton). He is from Oakland, at least his public share dinfo says so. I think this chance of finding this coincidence only fuels my fire and passion thats burning to make this Zodiac pay for what he did to women. I really hope to get in contact with an active detective on this case, but feel that Zodiac has some kind of illusive power that makes him not a top notch priority. (its been 3+ days and no reply)
A weird movie idea I came across almost seems real...it called the 'Scorpion 7' and how the ZODIAC is a world leader and tyrant making many his slaves,but I never read it or watched it, I just looked at the title and description. Very weird.I suspect many know his real identity and that him and satan are one in the same somehow.
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