First .. Here is a short overview of the crime with an evidence list as provided by this California Department of Justice Special Report
I will fill in more details on the specifics later. I am adding images and creating a rough outline. Over time I will add a lot of information in so if you run across this right now there is still a lot of work to be done. When it is finished it will probably go into some extreme details. I like adding as much detail as I can for my own curiosity and because that is where the devil likes to hide. Another new post I want to work on in the future is comparing Zodiac to other known serial killers.. Similarities and differences. We might figure out something about him. You never know.
Cheri Bates went to the RCC library to study on the night of October 30th, !966. She Left A note for her dad.
The RCC Library
An image of Cheri studying.
She parked by the library.
The image below is a picture of Cheri Bates car. I am going to see if I can find some specs on it. I have a few questions I have always wondered about. The story as I know it is that he disabled her car be removing or cutting a distributor wire. I always wondered how many people were around the library at that time. It just seems like something that would attract attention. Raising the hood, working on the car , closing the hood back. I am also curious what it looked like under the hood of that machine. I am just curious about a few things. Below is a picture of the car Cheri bates drove
This is my second experiment with adding color to a black and white photo/ How do you think I did? Not bad for my second try...ever. I am not sure about the exact shade of green her car was, but it was green...not that it really matters but I would say that is pretty damn close. I got the idea on howto add color to black and white photos when I started thinking about the some of the first color TV's ever made. They would put a spinning disc with different color sections pieced into it like pieces of pizza. It would spin behind a black and white image and give it the appearance of color.
Here is a fade from black and white to color.
She drove a Green VW Beetle which she parked at the library. I am guessing it was a 1966 model like the one on the example below found on Wikipedia. Her car is Identical to is except in color. Look at the two closely and you will see what I mean. Both have the same bumber guard, but I also found out they made those through 1955-66 and changed slightly in 67. Not that it really matters. While she was in the library someone disabled her engine. Here is just a little info on the beetle that may come in handy later.
Here are a couple of links that give a brief history of the VW Beetle with a timeline. One even mentions the Karmann Ghia... That is the kind of car Bryan Hartnell was driving when he was attacked..
Some links to VW Beetle info.
First.. The engine in a VW Beetle is in the back of the car.
They say he removed a wire from the distributor to keep the car from starting. That orange thing in the image above with all the wires running out of it is the distributor. Those wires connect to the spark plugs.
So I am guessing he removed the coil wire. Below is a link that will tell you different ways to keep a car from starting. Wow. You can find about anything on the internet.
So... How hard would it be to open the engine compartment on a VW Beetle? The gif below will show you exactly how easy it would be .
So ....the answer is to my first questions are... Yes.. it would be very easy to open the engine compartment on Cheri Jo Bates' car and pull the coil wire to prevent the car from starting, and Yes...it would have been very easily and quickly done with out anyone noticing. That tells us one thing about the killer of Cheri Jo Bates. He had some knowledge of cars.
I read an article once some one had written . They asked Cheri's boyfriend a few questions. I remember they said her boyfriend stated that Cheri Bates loved her car and would have probably locked the doors on it. That wouldn't matter as you have just seen. All the killer had to do was push a button on the engine compartment to open it. He wouldn't even have to open it far. Then just reach in and pull the wire because it is right there as soon as you open the compartment. I knew about the coil wire thing already. I have a basic knowledge and understanding of cars. I just wasn't sure about the set up of a VW Beetle. These days you can ask one of these older fellas around here about a problem with your car , and I don't care what it is they will always say it is the oxygen sensor.. You can be like " Danny I got a flat tire",....,"well it's probably your oxygen sensor." It makes me laugh. I better not stray off subject.
After leaving the library she goes to her car which won't start. The killer lingers around for her so when she somes out and her car won't start he can be there to offer help. Giving him an opening and getting her to trust him. I don't know if Cheri's killer realized it or if he had some kind of problem with women or if he was just some jock dick who was so full of himself and thought he was god's gift to women and he would do what he wanted when he wanted with them, but if he had just been trying to get a date with her..instead of kill her... this would have been a damn good plan. Not advocating weird shit like that or anything... but you gotta do what you gotta do to get the girl you want. She leaves with an unknown man at 9 P.M. who disabled her car then offered her help. She was being stalked by a dangerous predator like prey. I have nothing to base this on except what we know here. Her killer doesn't strike me as the nerdy type (stereotype) who had a problem getting girls. Keeping them maybe...but not getting them. He knew about engines, he had confidence in what he was doing and approaching her. He maybe even charmed her a little to get her to trust him to help her. She may have even knew him in passing . They were beside of a football field. Not saying that has anything to do with it , but it could. I don't think the killer was in the area for the library, although this guy was smart and probably was no stranger to the library. I just don't think that is why he was in the area that night. I think he would have been afraid that if he were seen at the library that would place him there at the time of her murder and if not make him a suspect...then a witness.. either way it would have drawn unwanted attention to him. Then he very well could have been there that night for the library. I know she was seen leaving with an unknown male. I am just not sure where at. Cheri's killer may have been some one she had seen around , but I don't think they were friends. If he had known her well then he would not have had to disabled her car to get her into his. I do think he had his eye on Cheri that night. I don't know if he had been watching her a while or just drove by and saw her getting out of her VW Beetle and think.. hmm..there is an easy mark... she is alone..she is pretty..and her car would be easily disabled..the trifecta. I do think the possibility he was associated with the school some way is a very strong one but not necessarily a definite. These are just my opinions.
Her body is found the next morning not far away stabbed to death. I have a hell of a lot of information to add in here also. Her car had been disabled.
They found her body near by.
From another angle
The image below is to degraded to colorize...but I can illustrate it .
Here is another black and white image I turned into color.
Fade from black and white to color.
This watch was found at the crime scene.
This image was supplied by Richard Grinnel
Here is a color photo of the same model watch I found. It is a 1965 Timex Marlin Hand Wind.
I am not sure they are exactly the same but they are close.
That tidbit of info might help with more research. I believe they traced it to a military PX in Britain , but I am not 100 percent on that. I am just going from memory. I will settle all of that when I start filling in the details with police reports and news articles over the next week. .Keep in mind I am still investigating all of this and will do more work as time allows and as I find new info. I noticed the number 2 may be a little slightly different than the one in the crime scene photo , but this just could be because they changed parts in the factory which is a common thing. I am going to keep searching and investigating. I will try emailing the Times company and see if they answer me .. It is a long shot but worth trying. I think it would be interesting in seeing what they have to say.
A broken knife was also found. The Blade was broke off in her.
The letters and the Story about the letters and calls go in this section
There has long been speculation of if the Bates murder was the work of Zodiac or not. In this post I plan to tell the story of the murder and assemble the known facts. What connects her murder to the Zodiac is the boot prints found at the scene, the style of the murder, and apparently the handwriting. My main focus right now is the hand writing. I am still going to post the other details of the crime. This is another post that will take a long time to finish, but I got nothing but time. Some might wonder why I work like this. Well....this stuff is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. What I do and what I work on on a particular day depends on , where I am, how I am feeling, and what kind of mood I am in. Mainly where I am at though. Sometimes I can be out some where with nothing better to do and I can whip out my phone or something and work on something. Also my attitude is...small strokes fell great oaks.. I know it sounds lame..but it works. If I never start something then I can never finish it .
The desk top carving. We are also going to compare this to Zodiac's hand writing. With the work I have done so far it actually looks like Zodiac did do it, but lets wait til all the work here is done.
The desk top etching.
Here is the etching with scale. At first glance it looks big but in reality it is only a few inches.
Here is a shot of it from David Fincher's movie "Zodiac" to give you a better idea of what it looked like. For illustration only. In the movie they plant doubt by saying , " who etched in their own hand writing?". It is very probable and easy to etch in your own hand writing. First you write what you are going to say then go over what you wrote and etch it in. Not that hard. I am sure most people did something similar in their school days.
Here is a link to a forum with some interesting stuff about Cheri and the possible and I stress possible origin of this desktop at the college. It was found in storage a couple of months after the murder by a janitor and may have been used in the music room I understand Cheri was a music student. I would like to know more about her and put it into this post. I plab to research all of that about all of the victims, but it will take time..I got plenty of time.http://zodiackiller.fr.yuku.com/reply/125781/Cheri-Jo-Bates-19481966
This is interesting. If you look close at the desk etching you will see this. This is the hallmark of the Zodiac Killer.
Today I started wondering about the handwriting. Is it really Zodiac's? I don't know. Sherwood Morrel says yes, but I have seen experts get fooled before. So here is what I am going to do. I am going to take samples of all the different letters ,A-Z, from the bates files and list them here. Then I will go through the Zodiac letters and do the same thing. I will then place them side by side and let you decide. Sounds like a fun experiment. It will take a lot of time as I am also working on other things and I have my everyday life to deal with. This is how I escape and relax. This doesn't sound to controversial so it should be interesting if nothing else. I don't know if anyone has ever attempted this before , but if they have then I am going to do it again. I do like trying to do things no one else has ever done that way it at least adds something useful for other people to study and possibly even help. Every now and then I will add a different letter to this project and details of the crime along with crime scene photos. As I add different letters in I will list them in alphabetical order.
I was sitting around the fire department today and decided to take samples of the letters. I started with this. Just with the work I have done so far... I can pretty well tell you that Cheri Jo Bates murders...The guy they call Zodiac..was probably involved...I am going to finish doing this writing comparison just for future arguments sake and see what happens. I still have the evidence list and other things to go through.
While studying this it is important to keep in mind that the desktop etching is not hand writing . It is etching. So it would appear a little different , but still have many commonalities.
Lower Case A
There are no lower case B's for me to compare in the bates letters but there are on the desktop etching
Lower Case B
Lower Case "D"
Lower Case F
Hartnell's car door
There is one letter where he made his lower case F noticeably different. The letter with the first bomb drawing.
Lower Case R
S is the only capital letter on the desk etching.. looks like a match to me.
I have to say...looks good so so far, but lets wait and see what else happens. I know I can Identify and "F" written by this man no problem.. He has a unique "F" I also want to try this with the desk carving. It may convince me 100 percent that Zodiac wrote the desk poem, but we will see. That is why I am doing this experiment. More letters to come later.
The initials at the end of the poem are "rh". I am goingto explore the possible meaning of this and post links to a few different ideas and theories on it . It could be initials to his name, but I am not so sure. You would think it it were his name and he etched a poem onto this desk at that school that he would have went to that school. Therefore he would have been easy to find. So I do not think these are his initials. They could have several possible meaning or could just be a "Red Herring" . lol. . They could also be the initials of whatever name he was calling himself at that time or have a connection to the occult or some secret society like the Free Masons. We will explore all of this.
Lets break down the confession letter and see what it has to tell us and if we can gain any unintentional information from it.
This line is interesting. I shall cut off her female parts and deposit them for the whole city to see. He wanted attention and wanted to strike fear in the area. It probably made him feel special fulfilling some kind of need he had. It reminds me of the black dahlia murder where a woman was bisected and left on display. Usually when victims are left on display it is to send some kind of message or for a reason. Im not saying he was the black dahlia murder but I do believe he had an interest in such crimes and probably read or studied about them since it was big new in the popular culture. Also he used the word "shall" just like the zodiac did in his letters. Some may not find this an odd word but I do. I think just this one word alone tells us a lot about her killer. For example you don't hear your average thug using the word "shall" instead will, would, could etc....
This tells us she trusted who ever it was that killed her or at least never expected him to harm her. She probably knew him.
I do believe he had a knowledge of mechanics. He pulled the distributor wire which supplies power from the battery to the spark plugs. The plugs in turn ignite the gasoline which push the pistons up and down. She went out and tried to start her car over and over. The starter then drained the battery in her car. I did some checking around and it wouldn't have taken long for her car battery to drain. This just confirms to me he had more than an average knowledge of mechanics. It also tells me he planned it or at least thought about it before hand. I don't know if specifically for Cheri but he had thought about it.
The second telling line in this section is "she was then very willing to talk with me". Which means he had tried to talk to her before which means she had seen him before and did know him. He HAD BEEN TRYING VERY HARD TO GET HER TO TALK TO HIM.
He said his car was right down the street. The image above shows where she was parked and where the murder happened. His car was probably parked where the murder occurred and they walked there together. These two houses were empty and used by the library to store books. Cheri's boyfriend was a football player and the football field was also in this area. At this point i want to ask some questions and state some opinion. Who was working at the library that night? There obviously wasn't that many people around or they would have seen or heard the events that occurred but if there was only her, the killer, the library workers and a few others around...you think the library workers could have been able to remember a couple of people around the library especially if they were familiar faces. I would just be interested in knowing who was working that night , where they were, and the lay out of the library . Generally there is someone at a deck or something near the front of the library near the doors where the killer would have been waiting. I don't know the lay out of the library or anything but I would be very interested in knowing.
Who ever the killer was knew these houses were empty and no one was in them. That is why he chose that spot. Now this could have been a library employee but that doesn't mean it was. It could have been some one who was in that area a lot like another football player but you would think if this is where students went to do alot of research for classes it would have been commonly known these houses were empty. Cheri was a nursing student and one time Zodiac bragged about taping a pen light to the barrel if his gun. My girl friend is a nurse and she has to take classes all the time. One day she was going on about how she had to have a new pen light for her class and it hit me. Nursing students and medical students use pen lights. They use them for cursory examination of your pupils, ears, etc.
So I had thought what was the killer doing in the area that night. Was he following her? Did he work at the library? Was he there for something to do with the football field? Then I thought of another possibility. Maybe he was there the same reason Cheri was there. I don't know what Cheri was researching at the library but she was a nursing student. Maybe her killer was also a nursing or medical student. Lets go back back to a statement he had just made. "I will cut off their female parts and deposit them for the whole city to see" We know he had the stomach for medical classes from this statement. I am sure that he knew Cheri and knew her for years..he says so himself in this letter.
I've been trying to reconstruct the original autopsy files so they can be read. The are very hard to see and will take some time. I was doing updates to this page recently and experienced a complete crash and lost a lot of info on this page. I was able to recover the majority of it.
In memory of Cheri Jo Bates
To get back to the main page click the link below.
A link to something I don't want to lose. I will move it later. Good read though.