Bates confession letter, phone call Message Board: Possible Zodiac Victim Cheri Jo Bates: Bates confession letter, phone call

By Tom Voigt ( - on Tuesday, August 29, 2000 - 09:34 pm:

The Bates confession letter of 11-66 that was sent to the Press-Enterprise newspaper and the "chief of police" has perplexed me for some time, especially:

"This letter should be published for all to read it" followed by "Yes I did make that call to you also."

Both confession letters are cc'd CHIEF OF POLICE.
That tells me they were written more for the benefit of the newspaper than the police. Plus, right before the line about the call, the author asks that the letter be published. Obviously, he was referring to the newspaper.

When the Riverside Police Department deny receiving a call from anyone claiming to be the Bates killer, I believe them.
Regardless of whether he killed Bates, I now believe the call was made to the newspaper by a fledgling Zodiac, not quite evolved enough (or sure enough of himself) to call the police directly.

By scott ( - on Wednesday, August 30, 2000 - 05:09 pm:

I agree completely. The Bates murder could have had a significant impact on a fledgling zodiac. He could of been fantasying about killing people and then somebody in his neighborhood, someone he might even have known is murdered. Maybe he had fantasied about killing Ms Bates and wished he was the perpetrator. He then writes the letters taunting the police, in his mind he commited the crime. This might have gone a long way towards zodiac acting out his fantasies. What is your opinion on the desk top poem? Do you think Zodiac wrote it?

By Mike in Oklahoma ( - on Wednesday, August 30, 2000 - 10:55 pm:

Scott wrote. . ."what is your opinion of the desk-top poem? Do you think Zodiac wrote it?"

I mentioned in a post a couple of months ago that I do not know who wrote the poem but I do NOT believe it describes a murder. It clearly describes a failed suicide attempt. I will stand on this analysis anytime. I don't want to elaborate further here but will gladly respond to any e-mails.

By Howard ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 01:09 am:

The desk top poem ,according to the top authority on Zodiacs handwriting, Sherwood Morrill,was in the same hand that wrote the 66/7;69-70 letters purporting to be from the killer known as the Zodiac. Of course, the writer of the Riverside communications 66/7' was not known as the Zodiac,this was a later development.A point of interest concerning the position of the desk top poem was given to me by the photographer that took the Bates photos in 1966. This man told me that the poem was not on the desk top,but underneath the top and he had to lay down to take that picture of the poem! I'm only relating what he told me! I spent some time interviewing him and he persisted in making the aforementioned claim. I wasn't there so I can only relate his account of that photographic session.According to my friend and Z expert Dave Peterson,the desk had been in a music room.The poem was a crude ballad/poem. Peterson points out, the circle and cross of Z can depict the coda found on music scores.A coda "is a concluding musical section that is formally distinct from the main structure".It literally means "tail."My suspect was a musician and played instruments-just FYI stuff.He wrote songs also. A point of interest is the fact Zodiac gave a rendition of the Mikado, so there seems to be some interest in plays/operas/songs,etc. FYI-Manson ,a member of the prison drama club, was in the Mikado while in prison in the 60s. He was released march 67' and then went to S.F. and met Bruce Davis and they became close friends.

By Ed N. ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 09:54 am:

Another point of interest, Howard: Cecelia Ann Shepard was transferring to Riverside to study music, and had returned to the Napa Valley and PUC on 9-27-1969, the very day Z would later attack her and Hartnell, just to pack the few things she had left behind the previous semester.

By Anonymous ( - on Thursday, September 07, 2000 - 10:08 am:

Howard, do you see any connection between Zodiac's
"blue meanies" reference and Manson's "Helter Skelter" thing, or are these allusions to the Beatles in both cases just coincidence?

By Howard ( - on Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - 01:16 am:

Anonymous,of course! This is one of the points in my Z book.The song was The March Of The Meanies, and in this case , this Z communication was sent March 13-Ron Hubbards b-day. Since Davis was so much into Scientology (since 66'),I knew Scientology Founder Ron Hubbards b-day was probably a Z letter date(you would/could become one with him!).Like when I first went through Zs letter dates I knew I would find my suspects b-day 10/5 -Zs post card !;as it says in a Beatles song Just The Two Of Us Sending Letters and Post Cards!The term was used in the 4/20/70 Z missive also.April 20 was Davis'/ Manson's idol Adolph Hitlers b-day.Young people in England would sometimes refer to the bobbies as the Blue (a Z color-he wrote with blue felt tip pen,except on the Hartnell car door where it was in black) Meannies. As Jake shows on his site :This is the Zodiac Speaking,some bobbies drove a Ford that was called the "Zodiac"and the hood ornanment was somewhat of a circle with a cross !Bruce Davis ,my suspect,had visited England at least 3 times and loved the country. LAPD believe that he killed at least one person there.Manson/Davis believed the Beatles were "inspired" and that they, in their songs ,were giving them "instructions" to start the Revolution and that society had to be "programmed subliminally" using the media ,to get the public "wired up for gore". They were to go out and "kill white people" and this would infuriate the whites who would "think blacks did it" and the whites would retailate ,thus,eventually bringing on a war involving all segments of society.I see Zs letters in a different light than most and I don't blame anyone for not seeing my reasons. I would hope they would read my book ,but only if they had some info on the case ,or are into true crime.I have gotten some great tips !When Z tells the papers to 'make sure they print the bomb diagram on the front page'or he will go out and kill; I see this as "intructions to the tuned in " M/D spoke of, that" needed instructions "to bomb ,shoot(like the informative pen light remarks Z made)codes (Manson was into ciphers and one associate had been with Naval Intellengce-he had a thing for one of the girls ;to the TOP three n. CA. papers for PUBLICITY and a "message" killing is 'fun its better than sex'-an old Manson saying to get his people into murder ,etc.One Manson girl that helped kill Ms. Tate said "it was better than a climax",something she heard M say over and over.My site is will be putting info up soon.Several authorities, including Z expert Dave Peterson ,believed Manson was connected to the Z murders-as was my pristine source-he was emphatic!

By Anonymous ( - on Tuesday, September 12, 2000 - 09:04 am:

Thanks for the info, Howard. I'm looking forward to checking out the book.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 12:16 pm:

The evidence presented on this site under the Cheri jo /DNA section ,against "Bob Barnett", though circumstantial, seems pretty compelling when taken at face value. I would find it easy to believe given most of the circumstances that "Bob" killed her in a fit of rage.However for this theory to"sit right"with me at least, it would have to have been just that, an impulsive act on Barnett's part during the course of an arguement.If he did kill Cheri jo,I do not get for one, the apparent premeditation ie tampering with the car.According to the report Barnett got a call from Cherry jo to say she was at the library while he was football training.
Did he decide to kill her on the way there?
also if you believe it was him, wasn,t he seen at 9.30 waiting outside the Library "a few minutes before she was killed"(Admittedly this was not a positive identification) but the person there did exchange acknowledgement with a passer by,Could that person be sure they were not recognised?.Whoever that person was it is likely it was the killer.Again I have not heard what Barnett's alibi was for that night,(I,d like to if anyone knows) but if he was guilty I find it amazing that he did not "crack" in the face of overwhelming circumstantial evidence.
Another point on this issue,Tom refers to a "fledgeling Zodiac" which I agree with.This in my opinion, would make Zodiac, at this point:-
1.Someone unknown probably of 25 years or over(if he was the killer).
2.A friend or associate of "Bob Barnett's".
3.A cop.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 10:11 am:

According to Tom's Anonymous source:-
"The evening Bates was killed,Barnett was playing basketball with buddies.Bates called him for reasons unknown and Barnett immediately left the game,saying "That bitc& is going to the library".
Now, JUST FOR ARGUMENT SAKE,if the above is true,
planning a murder thereafter ,I think even Barnett would realize, would leave witnesses to his opportunity and possible motive, but he still goes ahead with a premeditated murder which becomes premeditated because he interferes with the car.
We have two different things here,anger leaving the basketball game and the rage evident in the murder coupled with the thoughtful planning and stalking.If Barnett killed Bates, on any level why would he interfere with the car?
Next,I do not think anyone believes Barnett was or could be Zodiac, so apart from Barnett giving a detailed account of his crime or Zodiac being privy to details of the police investigation how could Zodiac come up with the details in the letters.
1.The interference with the car.
2.the broken knife
3. the fact that Bates was kicked in the head.
Would anyone care to discuss the above or point out the errors in my argument?.

By Hurley (Hurley) ( - on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 04:41 pm:


I agree with you Lapumo. Premeditated or spur of the moment crime of passion.

She was kicked in the head as some other possible Z suspects were listed as having. Somebody had to have a bloody shoe somewhere, also it must have left imprints, right?

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 11:00 pm:

If "Barnett" was in fact the perp, then disabling her car may not have had anything to do with her murder, at least, not at first. Perhaps it was done as a pretext for giving her a ride home, and on the way, he could argue with her about their breakup or whatever. But they stayed at the college, and their discussion may have gone on for 90 or more minutes after she left the library, and he became increasingly angry and finally lost control and killed her. Thus, her murder would not have been strictly premeditated since he may have only gone there to talk. Anyway, that's just an idea...

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 12:41 am:

I agree. That would also explain the lack of a more effective murder weapon.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 11:03 am:

Appreciate the response, and Iam not been dismissive, but are we comparing apples and oranges here? The interference with the car is compatible with the idea of a stalker ready to kill, but IMVHO would be a very over elaborate scheme for a college student to use it for the purpose you suggest, especially when it appears that Cheri Jo actually phoned "Barnett" and let him know where she would be.
Another problem,Why if she left under the pretext of getting a ride home did she leave her books in the car? There's alot more I would like to discuss on this , but I rushing now.
Is "Barnett's" alibi known?
Are there witnesses who seen Cheri jo leaving the library?
Tom, I believe the typewriter used to send the Bates letter was identified, was it ever compared with the Patricia Hautz letter?

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 02:30 pm:

I don't know who might have the original of the Hautz letter, but the odds are it wasn't compared to the confession.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Monday, November 20, 2000 - 12:56 am:

I would think that "Barnett" walked her to her car, she got in, books and all, and it magically wouldn't start, so they continued their discussion and walked back to his car perhaps to get some tools to "fix" it. Why didn't she stay at her car? She was afraid of the dark, and she probably felt safe and trusting enough at that time to be with her ex. Had he intended to kill her from the outset and been verbally or physically abusive, she would not have gone with him anywhere if she had any sense at all, but rather would have returned to the library where it was safe. Anyway, just to carry that idea further...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 06:25 am:

In bringing up this whole discussion I wanted to bring together a couple of discussions elsewhere on this board in relation to this event.
I believe Zodiac is here somewhere, whether he is the murderer and letter writer or just the letter writer, it's most likely his beginining,so mabye this is the place where we may get closest to him or where he made a mistake.
The starting point,would be to look at the murder "Barnett "or Zodiac.I am not long on the board ,but I get the impression that the general concensus was that Zodiac was the killer until the issue of overkill was raised also the circumstantial against "Barnett" is fairly persuasive.I stand to be corrected of course.
On the issue of overkill, it is a pointer to a murderer and victim who are "involved" or know each other. Jake even asks M.kelleher if he feels vindicated by his prediction that Zodiac was not the killer when we learn of the 42 stab wounds.But as was pointed out elswhere Sexual sadism and Overkill go hand in hand as indeed does the killer spending alot of time with the victim. So, where back to the question Barnett or Zodiac. Like Ive already said the circumstantial evidence against Barnett is pretty persuasive.However there are a couple of points I must make.In my opinion if Barnett was the killer then it would be a spontaneous rage killing.But for one the ruse with the car throws me, yes Ive heard other ideas on why he may have done this,bit I still think it's very over elaborate in the circumstances. No,Iam not saying impossible
but I think mabye were comparing apples and oranges, as a ruse for a murderer yes as a ruse as otherwise no.The second thing and most important reason I have against Barnett is the overkill.This wasn't just overkill this was ABSOLUTE SLAUGHTER, pure insanity,this guy MUST have a history.If it were Barnett he would have to be in absolute panic, because even at this stage the evidence is against him.But a few hours later he's at a reatuarant??.
SH&t, caught for time again,I'll have to leave it here for now.ANY COMMENTS.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, November 22, 2000 - 07:20 am:

Do we know when exactly the desktop message was written or best estimate. Thanks.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Wednesday, November 22, 2000 - 08:42 am:

Lapumo: it was generally believed that Z was CJB's killer, at least as far as the public was concerned. It seems that law enforcement didn't believe it (I remember when Ken Narlow incredulously asked someone last year if he believed that. His demeanor indicated that it was far from fact), although as early as October 1969, RPD had sent a memo to NSD suggesting a possible link.

In any case, if "Barnett" were the perp, then it certainly seems to have been a spur-of-the-moment thing. The killer was not a sexual sadist, because these sick types of killers use murder as their form of sex, and they tend to spend much time with their victims, torturing etc them. This did not occur with CJB. Since she was stabbed 42 times and nearly decapitated, but there were no other forms of extreme sexual torture that is characteristic of sexual sadism (that I am aware of anyway), this would indicate that the killer exploded with anger, and took it out on her all at once. One does not kill with rage and stab their victim once every two minutes over a period of ninety minutes. Thus, we may assume that she was killed at the end of the time she spent with her killer.

Since the library closed at 9 PM, and she was killed between 10:15 and 10:45, probably around 10:30 (based on the time that two witnesses heard a scream), it would seem that she was with her killer in conversation for at least an hour and a half. This is not the what a sexual sadist does with his victim when he spends time with her. So what happened?

This is why I opined that the suspect disabled her car on the pretext of giving her a ride home to talk about their breakup; pulling a wire isn't overly elaborate, but something that a disturbed man might do to keep someone in a place where he had some control. They ended up talking in the parking lot for an hour and a half instead, which served the same purpose, because were her car not disabled, she would have gone home and he would not have been able to spend that time with her.

I don't think his intent was murder, but that's how it ended up. Rage killings aren't always premeditated (how does one plan to be in a rage to start killing???). Quite the contrary, since they apparently conversed for an hour and a half indicates that he became enraged at the end, not at the beginning. If it was "Barnett," then yes, he was mad, but not mad enough for murder. Had he intended to kill her, he would not have bothered with the car, and he would have brought a weapon appropriate to the task at hand, which he did not (he used a small-bladed knife, whereas Z used a long knife of some sort at Lake B), and he would have attacked her as soon as he saw her, not an hour and a half later.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, November 22, 2000 - 11:19 am:

Just to let you know where my thinking came from;
CJB is stabbed 42 times ,almost decapitated,and kicked in the head.I mentioned sexual sadism because one of the characteristics expected to be found is overkill especially attacks on areas associated with sex.Now, I do not know where she was stabbed exactly,do you?.
Secondly,if your to go by the witness who heard the scream I think the whole statement was"that a scream was heard approx. 10.30 followed approx 2 minutes later by the sound of an old car starting up.Which one would assume was the killer.But I think it's safe to say that this attack took longer than that.Why I asked myself only one scream ? If this is Barnett it's more than likely the assault started with a physical attack, you would imagine there would be more screaming. What if Bates was "coming around " from an earlier assualt.Other evidence stated might also bring the time period down. A witness puts "someone in the shadows" at 9.30,the library closes at 9, one could assume if this was Barnett that at least another 15 minutes or more could have elapsed before the two arrived where the did!
If there's a link with the desktop writing it may also point to someone other than Barnett.
Other things to consider in relation to Barnett being the killer.
1.Was there anything to show previously that he was capable of this.
2. His demeanor after the crime.
3. His age at the time(which I do not know).
4. How did the letter writer get his information
If Barnett was not suspected on the evidence at the time,specifically that the perp would most likely be someone known to the victim, it seems absurd that the would only focus on this after a tip-off about him 4 years later.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Thursday, November 23, 2000 - 05:48 pm:

I still think we should entertain the possibility that the Bates attack was originally intended as a rape.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, November 24, 2000 - 01:52 pm:

It's quiet possible and makes alot of sense. Looking at the photographs of the crime scene it does look like some kind of cul-de -sac.(I could be wrong).I was always under the impression this was some kind of thru- walkway or shortcut. It gives more substance to the "interference with the car" also it could explain what has been described as an "inadequate weapon for murder".The original idea perhaps was to use it just to threathen.It definitely paints a clearer picture for me at least. I do not think talking was on this guy's mind from the start.

Enjoy the weekend.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Friday, November 24, 2000 - 11:17 pm:

Actually, it was not in a cul-de-sac where her body was found; rather, it was in a driveway between 3680 and 3692 Terracina, both of which were empty. In fact, there were six empty houses along Terracina between Riverside Drive and Magnolia, and there was also an alley between Terracina and Fairfax, the next street to the southwest. Presumably, the alley paralleled Terracina and Fairfax, between the houses on either street.

Interestingly enough, by November 10th, 1966, mercury vapor lights had been installed in the alley, ahead of schedule. The school board accepted bids on the 15th for the destruction of those empty houses to build a parking lot--too little, too late, for Cheri Jo. As far as I can tell from my recent visit to Riverside, the spot where she was murdered is now the parking lot right in front of the A.G. Paul quadrangle (I believe that's what it's called) between Terracina and Fairfax. It's a somewhat ignominious memorial to her memory.

I also found this interesting quote from The Daily Enterprise, "Mercury vapor lights now illuminate scene where Cheri Bates was killed" (11-11-1966, p. B-1):

Friends of the girl have told police that she had a deep fear of darkness. Because of this, police theorize the girl would not go into a dark driveway--unless she was forced to do so or was with someone she knew and trusted. (italics mine)

It certainly doesn't seem that she was forced into the driveway, at least not immediately, because she apparently spent some 90 minutes in the dark, presumably talking with her killer. So, it sounds like the perp may have been someone she knew and trusted, just as the police theorized.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Saturday, November 25, 2000 - 09:35 am:

Again,for argument sake,let's go with Barnett and bring it to the next step. How do we propose the letter writer got his information,I assume as with all murder cases evidence was held back. It's hard to believe this information was just out there.Iam also confused Ed about the desktop writing and when exactly it was done.It's not clear (to me)if this was done long before,just before or after the murder.Can you help?
This again may help to give a clearer picture.

Enjoy the weekend.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Saturday, November 25, 2000 - 11:21 pm:

As far as the information found in the "confession" letter, it was said (as I recall) by detectives that most of the information was already public knowledge (ie, reported in the paper), and the rest might have been correctly guessed by the author, but they did not say what was what. So even back in 1966, it seems that they doubted that it was in fact written by the killer.

As far as the desktop poem goes, it was found in storage some months after the murder, and was allegedly in the library the night of the murder. But then again, so what? It could have been written at any time up to the day of its discovery, and might have even been there for years. Someone (I don't recall who) observed some months back that the poem actually sounds more like someone talking about a failed suicide and not a murder. But it was assumed to have something to do with CJB, and so was included as evidence.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 08:12 am:

The initial FBI report of 12/1/66, states

On 11/30/66 [redacted] Riverside Police Department, advised that they had searched the news releases that had been made and none of the mentioned that the "middle wire of the distributor" had been removed from Miss BATES' car. He advised that other points in the letter, such as the details of the manner of the murder and the call to the police department, made it appear that the writer of this letter is actually the murderer.

This tends to confirm the telephone call to the police that was mentioned in the confession letter, making it highly likely that the author of that letter was indeed Bates's murderer.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 01:09 pm:

No call was received by RPD.
However, in the context of the confession, it appears as if the call had been placed to the newspaper. .

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 04:07 pm:

Well, if no call was placed to the RPD, why does the FBI, on December 1, 1966, state that they were told by someone at RPD that a call was made? Tom, do you have any documentation to back up this assertion? Or do we simply, once again, take your word for it?

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 05:03 pm:

There's no need to take my word for it, Doug.
(After all, I am a world-renowned liar.)
All you need to do in order to cooberate my statement is to take the initiative as I did, and call Irv Cross, Dave Bonine, Harry Homsher, Bud Kelly and Steve Shumway.
Since all five were adamant about no call being made, and since there is no documentation anywhere of a call being made, that tells me no call was made.
(The FBI report you referred to doesn't confirm a call was made, it assumes that a call was made. There is also no proof that the knife broke, in fact RPD is adamant that the knife did NOT break.)

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 09:36 pm:

Tom, you'd have a lot more credibility if you cited your sources along with your assertions, rather than waiting until someone has requested them. In Dr. Zodiac Rusconi and I placed our sources in footnotes, and it never occurred to us that we might save a little effort by simply suggesting to our readers that they corroborate those details themselves.

That said, whatever Irv Cross, Dave Bonine, Harry Homsher, Bud Kelly and Steve Shumway may have told you conflicts with the information in the FBI report, which stated that someone at RPD pointedly advised them that "other points in the letter, such as the details of the manner of the murder and the call to the police department, made it appear that the writer of this letter is actually the murderer." That's not an assumption. It's a recapitulation of a statement that was made by RPD in their quest for FBI assistance.

I'm prepared to believe that RPD lied to the FBI in order to get them involved in the case, but it doesn't do a lot for my faith in law enforcement, especially since, according to your sources, a lot of people at SFPD were committing criminal acts such as fabrication of evidence. But I'm not so naive as to think it impossible.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 10:00 pm:

Doug, many of the people I deal with do not want their names published. Since this is a private message board, I made an exception in my last post.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 01:30 pm:

Ed wrote:-According to detectives the information in the confession letter was public knowledge,the rest could have been guessed at.
I would find it hard to believe this type of information was generally available at the time.Surely something like this would be routinely witheld.Douglas seems to confirm this in his post.

Yes she was stabbed but would the fact that it was a small knife be divulged?

I think there was only ONE scream heard that night?.I could imagine also the papers carrying the story about Cheri being beaten and stabbed but again the specific Kick to the head when she screamed points to someone who might have known what went on.

I would have assumed this was a "given" until I read Tom's post.However it is significant either way.The object of the exercise for the letter writer if he was not the killer would be to claim credit for it and convince police.If the knife was did not break it seems peculiar he would include this.Another possibility maybe the handle of the knife broke!

While this is something that may have been guessed at,it does make sense with what we know did happen.I also wanted to bring it up with reference to the Barnett questioning.
The killer grabs her from behind in the manner described above.The natural reaction for the victim- to put her hands to grab the hand that the killer has around her and covering her mouth.
she pulls? she scratches? she tears the watch from his hand?.It's not certain but it fits.
TOM'S REPORT ON THIS CASE STATES THAT BARNETT WAS INTERVIEWED EARLY ON SINCE THE POLICE HAD DEDUCED THAT THE KILLER MAY HAVE BEEN KNOWN THE CHERI.As a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend he must have been high on their list of people they would have wanted to speak to.

Obviously he must have been pretty convincing at this stage. Scratches on his face???-No?!.Scratches or bruising on his arm or wrist???-No?!
So where back with our discussion,If Barnett did do it HOW DID THE KILLER GET HIS INFORMATION?
Did Barnett give someone the details?
Was it someone close to the investigation?

IF,however this was Zodiac,or someone else,Ed,the desktop writing would have to be looked at and included or eliminated.The police thought it significant.The guy who suggested it pertained to suicide did not back that claim up.
Your still probably looking at someone with ties to riverside and even to the college and even someone who may be familiar with CJB.
Does the writing compare to Zodiac's?
If it was done prior to the murder was it someone attending school,someone who got the "brush-off"?
If it was done on the night was there purpose to it in relation to what happened later? Was it the killer passing time in his own disturbed way? If it was after the killing, was it a clue???

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 11:38 pm:

Lapumo wrote:

Ed wrote:-According to detectives the information in the confession letter was public knowledge,the rest could have been guessed at. (italics mine)
I would find it hard to believe this type of information was generally available at the time.Surely something like this would be routinely witheld.Douglas seems to confirm this in his post.

Actually, I did not write what I italicized in your paraphrase, I wrote:

As far as the information found in the "confession" letter, it was said (as I recall) by detectives that most (italics mine) of the information was already public knowledge (ie, reported in the paper), and the rest might have been correctly guessed by the author, but they did not say what was what.

By leaving out that most critical word "most," you completely changed the meaning of my words, which you did not quote directly but rather paraphrased. I was referring to detective sergeant Leroy Gren's comments in "After six months coed's murder remains puzzle to detectives" (The Daily Enterprise, 4-30-1967, p. B-4):

"There were a couple of things in the letter that were not mentioned in newspaper accounts," Sgt. Gren said, "but of course, it is possible that the writer simply guessed right." (italics mine)

Gren did not point out which things in the letter he was referring to.

This statement of his certainly expresses doubt that the author was the killer, however, to be fair, the same story also stated earlier:

Though the letter has turned up nothing in the way of evidence, (italics mine) police have not discounted it.

So, even though the letter was not discounted, it supplied no evidence (presumably regarding authorship) and its claimed authorship was in doubt.

How much more clear can I make it???

I do agree that the killer almost certainly had some sort of ties to Riverside, the college, and CJB. But it is far from certain that the killer and the author of the "confession letter" are in fact one and the same.

By Twagner129 (Twagner129) ( - on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 09:06 am:

Howard, I kinda hate to admit it but the more I read your theories the more they make sense to me.
I really believe that when and if these cases are solved NONE of the Usual Suspects will be the culprit, but your reasoning and theories are very well thought out and I am now open to your ideas and appreciate your posts. Every theory into the identity of the killer has to explain the bizzare Mikado connection and yours is as good as I have seen. Also, after reading "Helter Skelter", I know that the authorities felt that the Manson crew had more murders to their credit than were proven (I believe even one of the Manson attournys was a victim of an unsolved death, suspected to be at the hands of the Manson family).

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 - 10:12 am:

I accept I misquoted you in relation to what the detectives had to say about the confession letter.
It was just laziness on my part,which is why I
paraphrased.I must also admit in relation to the
"guessing" that I thought it was your own opinion.
I apologize.
You also wrote:-Are you stupid or what!,do I have to tattoo everything on your forehead before you understand.:).Oops!,sorry I paraphrased again.
What you actually wrote was:-"How much more clear can I make it???" Well,Ed,not very clear and it may be because you misunderstand me.I opened this discussion for reasons stated previously,initially to talk about this in a hypothetical/for argument sake type of way.I do not have any problem stating my position.ZODIAC IS HERE SOMEWHERE.As to who killed CJB, I do not know, but I do have my own suspicions or at least questions.Given the information posted by Tom:-Barnett looks good.
However I have reservations, which I have outlined
The flip side of this coin is that Zodiac or other is responsible for the murder of CJB.I do not put this forward as a belief,as yet anyway,but
as part of the overall discussion.
Again,paramount to these discussions is the amount of detail or lack of detail contained in the "confession letter".NOW,at this stage and for the last three posts I have raised this issue,to be confronted only with and I quote"As far as the information found in the "confession letter"it was said by detectives that most of the information was already public knowledge(ie reported in the paper)and the rest may have been correctly guessed by the author,but they did not say what was what".What I was really looking for was the thoughts of the people on this board.IF,and I say IF the details I have outlined in my previous post were common knowledge,ie printed in newspapers at the time then the police not only dropped the ball it bounced up and hit them on the head as well.As posted by Douglas one in particular "the Middle wire" was apparently not public knowledge.That in itself begs the question,how did the letter writer get the information?.Did the police divulge the size of the knife?How much are we to believe was guessable? If this discussion is going to be fruitful,I would ask/suggest that each of the points be discussed.Then maybe we can look at the overall picture.Let's start on what we agree on:- the killer had some ties to riverside,the college and CJB.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 12:19 am:

Lapumo, sorry I snapped at you, I do get a little irritated at misquotations and thought you had done that on purpose. Since you didn't, let's move on...

Now that we're on the same wavelength, you are correct, I don't believe the middle wire being pulled was public knowledge. That was obviously one of the details Gren did not enlarge upon. However, I know next to nothing about cars (you put gas in, change the oil every so often, and can drive really fast). So the question now becomes: what is the easiest way to disable a VW? Pulling the middle wire as the letter writer claimed? If so, then it might very well have been a no-brainer to easily guess what the killer had done in that instance.

According to "Police hunt killer of Riverside College coed" (The Daily Enterprise, 11-1-1966, p. A-1):

[Deputy Coroner Mike] Reilly said the weapon could have been a slender-bladed knife at least three inches in length.

Also mentioned later in the same story:

Investigators theorized that the killer was someone who knew the girl would return to the parked VW. The distributor coil and the condensor to the car's engine had been torn out.

Otherwise, it was described simply as being "disabled." So, with those facts made public, the letter writer might have correctly guessed the details if he was not the killer.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 08:11 am:

I know little about cars myself especially the design in that era,so my next little parable might have no bearing. However,I worked close to riverside in 1990,one day I locked my keys into the car.Having no clue how to retrieve the situation without BFI, I asked for assistance.
Having drawn a crowd of about 20 of my colleagues
all they could suggest was the same BFI or contacting the police.Up pops this guy out of nowhere,gets a thin strip of metal binding,cuts a notch at one end,slips it down between the window
seal and the window and lifts the button on the door-voila.This may serve no other purpose than to
give you a little pointer should you ever find yourself in the same embarrassing situation,but you know where I heading.I wonder if the hood of the VW could be opened from the outside or did the killer originally have to gain access to the
car to open the hood?If the latter he would have to have a fair knowledge and have come prepared!.
You wrote:-"That was obviously ONE of the details
Gren did not enlarge upon".Here's where I've been heading,any particular point can be theorized upon
and included or dismissed.However it's the sum of the total that counts,including how it relates to the suspects.When you take out,the middle wire,the
small knife(explained),the one scream,the kick to the head,how the letter writer described the
initial assault,the broken knife that was't broken
the rest can be easily guessed.Again we are only speaking hypothetically but if there was no Barnett would this not be looked at as very detailed letter? If Barnett was arrested for this
do you think Johnny and Barry would get him off:)

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) ( - on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 03:55 pm:

I am curious - is there any evidence that Bates WAS kicked in the head? When I spoke to Shumway, he made it clear that the RPD did not believe that her killer had written the notes, and the Zodaic had not, either. He said the knife did not break, and that all the information in the confession was available in the media. He did not say whether Bates had been kicked. At the time, Shumway was reluctant to offer any of the actual details of the crime itself. Tom had better luck later. Yet, I haven't heard a definitive answer for the "kicked in the head" story. Anyone?

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 05:30 pm:

According to "Police hunt killer of Riverside College coed" (The Daily Enterprise, 11-1-1966, p. A-1):

According to the coroner's office, cause of death was hemorrhage due to laceration of the right carotid artery.

But the autopsy revealed numerous other brutal blows to the girl's chest, arms, hands and face.
(italics mine) The throat was savagely hacked, according to Deputy Coroner Mike Reilly, and it appeared the girl was punched several times in the face. There was no sexual assault, (italics mine) according to Reilly.

What I italicized might be what inspired the letter writer to claim that he kicked her in the head. Also, that there was no sexual assault seems to mitigate against her murder starting out as a rape. If rape is what was intended, one would think the perp would continue with the assault regardless of the state of the victim (ie, whether alive or dead).

By Gregorypraxas (Gregorypraxas) ( - on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 08:00 pm:

Well, not all rapists are into necrophelia :) Good points. Guess that's one of the articles I don't have (sigh). Wonder why the writer didn't say he had punched her? Just curious. If he was trying to make it seem as if he was the killer, I would think he would have said "punched," but maybe he was trying to avoid using the language of the newspapers. Who knows. Thanks for pointing that out, Ed.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 - 08:01 pm:

If rape is what was intended, one would think the perp would continue with the assault regardless of the state of the victim (ie, whether alive or dead).

If she screamed once or twice (as witnesses stated) it would have been too dangerous for the assailant to have stayed in the area to consummate a rape. He might have thought she would prove more tractable than she turned out to be.

By Glen Claston (Glenclaston) ( - on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 03:00 am:

This is why I opined that the suspect disabled her car on the pretext of giving her a ride home to talk about their breakup; pulling a wire isn't overly elaborate, but something that a disturbed man might do to keep someone in a place where he had some control. They ended up talking in the parking lot for an hour and a half instead, which served the same purpose, because were her car not disabled, she would have gone home and he would not have been able to spend that time with her.

Ed, is there any police report that indicates that the car was disabled? Surely they would have impounded the vehicle, trying to drive it first, and if it wouldn't start, that would have been significant?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 09:31 am:

Glen, I am unsure what particular clarification your looking for,an actual police report or verification that CJB's car was actually disabled.
If the latter,Ed posted earlier in this section on that.There's also a fairly comprehensive report
on Jakes site under "Riverside".

Gregory,Now that you mention it,I do not see any
definitive statement or proof that CJB was kicked in the head.However in noting Ed's post and suggestion in relation to the autopsy which revealed numerous brutal blows to the chest,arms,
hands and FACE,I see nothing that would eliminate
it either.
You wrote that Shumway said that the knife did not break.Iam not contradicting this but on Jake's site under RIVERSIDE he states that the coroner could not determine whether the knife broke or not!.Both these points bring me back to the discussion on the letter.I assume the object of the exercise for the letter writer,if he was not the killer,would be to claim credit and convince police that he was responsible.Do you not therefore think it peculiar that he include such detail that could be easily disproved?.
IF the knife did not break then it could not have been common knowledge ie reported at the time!
Again,another possibility could be that the knife did break and the killer recovered the broken piece???

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 09:49 am:

Glen, I would assume that CJB's car being disabled was mentioned in the police report(s) (which I don't have, unfortunately), but it was mentioned at least twice in the newspaper reports. The method by which it was disabled does however appear to have been disinformation (ie, distributor coil and condensor being "torn out"), because it does not jibe with what apparently did happen (ie, middle wire being pulled).

By Jake Wark (Jake) ( - on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 02:25 pm:

Lapumo wrote:
"You wrote that Shumway said that the knife did not break.Iam not contradicting this but on Jake's site under RIVERSIDE he states that the coroner could not determine whether the knife broke or not!."

My source was "Police send murder confession to state's crime experts" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1 December 1966), which states that "Police said yesterday they had no evidence that the knife ... broke during the slaying."

Recently, Tom and Gregorypraxas have cited Steve Shumway's assertion that the knife definitely did not break. I trust both of them, and will amend my site when time allows, which will be sometime between now and the next presidential election.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 04:27 pm:

Just to put it straight what it actually says is
Quote:-The killers claim that "she did not put up a struggle" was contradicted by the flesh and hair
found beneath Bates'fingernails and the churned up ground at the scene,and the coroner was not able to determine whether the knife actually broke in her body".
When you think about it,this is the only statement
that makes sense.How could anybody state for certain that the knife definitely did not break,
unless they had the knife?. Of course everyone is assuming that the blade broke off in her body,the letter does not state this and even if it did what's to stop the killer retrieving it?
But let me ask again,in the faint hope that someone might offer an opinion on it;-Why does the letter writer include this "false information"
if he's looking to take credit for the crime???

By Jake Wark (Jake) ( - on Thursday, November 30, 2000 - 05:27 pm:

Lapumo wrote:
"Just to put it straight what it actually says is

That's a quote from my site. I was quoting the newspaper.

"How could anybody state for certain that the knife definitely did not break,
unless they had the knife?."

I imagine that they could be certain the same way they're certain of the knife's length -- they'd measure the depth of the wound. If you have several wounds with clean entries that are three inches deep, and then some near a bone or something that have a jagged entry and are only 2 inches deep, the knife might have broken. I'm no Cyril Wecht, but I don't think it's a forensic impossibility.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Saturday, December 02, 2000 - 03:24 pm:

Got my wires crossed ref:- Quotes from your site
versus Newspaper.I responded in haste because I thought your post left an ambiguity as to whether or not this information actually came from the coroner.Iam currently receiving treatment to remove my foot. Sorry buddy.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Monday, January 01, 2001 - 02:24 pm:

After affirming the details (saying the VW was "tampered with",etc.) Riverside 69'LT Kinkead says :"The person who wrote the confession letter is aware of facts about the homicide that only the killer would know. There is no doubt that the person who wrote the confession letter is our homicide suspect." This letter shows that the Chief of police after some 3 years of evidence collecting affirmsthe confession writer is the killer because he KNEW the facts of the case that were not public at the point of letter delivery!The complete letter is in my book.It is nonsense to say the letter writer didn't know thei was a struggle! He clearly meant it was easy to lead Bates to the alley-she went'like a lamb to the slaughter'he says.Again, he says later in the letter 'shewent very willingly'. Now, see :"She died hard. She squirmed and shook as I choaked(sic) her(the Chiefs letter says B was choked)and her lips twiched(sic) these 3 words see Zs torture 70' letter). If this isn't a 'truggle ' don't know what is !!I have read this letter over the years scores of times and there is nothing in here that contradictsthe case facts.The PRINTING on the envelope matched later Z communications according to State Examiner Morrill.What was in the envelope? Facts ,according to the good Chief only the suspect would know. Why the military dress shoes?Barnett did not have to do a costume thing to trick Bates as they knew each other. The heel print was a military dress shoe.The suspect spent time working on the car to 'help' and this took up some time-witnees greasy prints on car.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Monday, January 01, 2001 - 03:27 pm:

Lupumo-I gave that copy of the Pat Hautz letter to Tom and gratefully he posted it.We got a copy from the Riverside Press Enterprise reporter.We searched all references and asked teachers that were around in in 66/7' and there is no such person.We spoke to students of that period and they didn't know "her'.I woke up one morning after looking at the letter for the millionth time wondering if there was some clue and I got the "impression" to look at the last letter -it is Z!Strange.My suspect did know a Pat in his high school and I'm searching for more info-I have his year book some where!Lets do some computer searches for this name and derive the names meaning-Z stuff you know!I will contact the Press and see if it truly is an original and have them show it to the dreaded RPD for comparison to their letter. The confession is all caps and the Hautz letter isn't, but there could be some work done.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Monday, January 01, 2001 - 03:36 pm:

Lapumo- Don't have my books here ,but did find :"patrician- a nobleman, one of the senators of Rome,an aristocrat".

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Monday, January 01, 2001 - 04:34 pm:

When I visited Riverside in October, I checked out the old city directories (specifically, the 1966 directory) for the surname "Hautz," and the page on which that surname would have appeared (if there was anyone in Riverside by that name that year) was missing! I don't know what to make of that...

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 12:15 am:

Lapumo/EdN.-I looked up the meaning and I wasn't too surprised to find it goes back to ol'st. Patty.He went to Ireland from England and converted the Irish. To combine their pagan background with his faith he created a circle -the sun -and placed a cross -of Christ-through it; Z inspiration-a cross and circle? Davis loved the Irish as did Manson.I have posted on these things in the past.The Process cult that Davis and Manson were into published a magazine and on a center page was a huge cross and circle.In 66/7' there would just be Davis ;and now I wonder: did he pick a name ,Patricia, that derived from one of his Irish heroes(& Robert Emmet-cipher- the Irish revolutionary/)-if he even typed that 67' note to the paper.I think HautZ is German hmmmm.We can note that the writer wants more focus on the boy that killed Bates!

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 12:21 am:

The Riverside paper did mention that there were some crank calls-the Z?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 11:14 am:

Haut is the German word for skin.
St Patrick was actually born in Wales.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 01:43 pm:

There's that Welsh connection again...

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, January 03, 2001 - 10:09 am:

I can fill you guys in on a bit of history surrounding Robert Emmet if you feel it relevant.
It will take a bit of space,so I would prefer to have permission from Tom or Ed.Maybe they could edit it later.

By Tom Voigt (Tomvoigt) ( - on Wednesday, January 03, 2001 - 12:40 pm:

Just start a new thread.

By Bruce Monson (The_Adversary) ( - on Thursday, January 04, 2001 - 07:40 am:

Peterson points out, the circle and cross of Z can depict the coda found on music scores.A coda "is a concluding musical section that is formally distinct from the main structure".It literally means "tail."My suspect was a musician and played instruments-just FYI stuff.He wrote songs also.

I must agree that the music approach is compelling. I have sometimes wondered about this, particularly regarding the Mikado references. Has anyone ever looked at the sheet music to the Mikado theme song (with the notes and bars)? I seem to recall from a code & cipher book (I don't have the book with me at the moment--if it's the one I'm thinking of), where actual musical notes are what is encoded (or something to that effect).

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Thursday, January 04, 2001 - 09:47 am:

Howard, "my" suspect was quite a good trombonist who composed classical-style musical compositions that his family played together as a pastime. Is this germane? Heaven knows, at this juncture.

Oh yes, in "The Mikado," Nanki-Poo disguises himself as a "second trombone!"

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Saturday, January 06, 2001 - 12:14 am:

Bruce-Good thought on the possible reference. Maybe someone will come up with that Mikado/and/or cipher ref'.If that book was published prior to the 70'Z missive then it could fit as another possible Z source- FIND the book!The desk as Peterson informed me was found in the music room.We should start a thread on the desk top poem-just break it down and look at each word/section with a fresh approach.I looked at it scores of times and it seems like an enigma. I believe whoever wrote it -Z or -was on something!Did Cheri Jo confess to the writer that she was sick of living? Her mother was committed to an istitution ;she had a severe drinking problem.Cheri's home was broken and her father took it all quit hard and was very lonely. Did all of this deeply affect her on a subconscious level in spite of the fact she wanted to become a flight attendant, was popular in school and was engaged to football player Dennis Highland(we spoke to Dennis who to this day thinks RPD blew it by all the focus on "Barnett") He knew BB and does not believe he did the crime).I have counseled many people over the years and it was no little surprise that some of the most popular people were actually so unhappy and secretly wanted to end it all! Their friends would have been shocked to know their real feelings.Cheri had been very close to her mom. Does this show that the desk etcher knew details of Cheri's real feelings?Just to start some analysis-I don't know ,but it's just intriguing.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Saturday, January 06, 2001 - 12:22 am:

Doug-Thats of interest considering the Mikado reference you gave.Ted certainly had a taste for opera and did play that instrument,etc.Keep up the work .I know that you guys have worked very hard on the case and you have found things that the authorities have missed!Just love it!

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Saturday, January 06, 2001 - 01:59 am:

Lapumo-Interesting that the German word HAUT means skin! Just add that Z on the end.I also note that HautZ letter is dated 11/1/67' and that it was written 1 mo. after the Bates article which the letter refers to as 10/1/67';exactly 1 mo-something z liked!See also the term "BLUE print"in the letter.Was this a subber'projection and that the writter had worked with blue prints?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 11:24 am:

Howard, a question on the Hautz letter:-It appears with some of the Capital letters that they seem to be at a higher level on the page than the lower case letters.See E in Editor,N in Nov,O in Oct,F in fellow.Is this a "Typewriter fault".It also appears that the Z in Hautz is a little lower???

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Tuesday, January 09, 2001 - 05:21 pm:

Those of us that are old enough to remember manual typewriters will probably remember that when you didn't hold the CAPS key down all the way the capital letter that you type will always be higher up on the page than the lower case letters.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Thursday, January 11, 2001 - 11:31 pm:

In the Chief of polices' letter that I quoted from he says;"While in this driveway area ,our victim[Bates]was attacked with a knife and stabbed numerous times in the chest.She was also stabbed once in the back ,and her throat was severlycut ,almost to the extent where she was decapitated.In addition to the stab wounds our victim had been beaten about the face and had been choked[the author said he had "choaked"Bates]. The Chief says;"We were ableto lift some latent fingerprints[and they ,RPD,told me there were no prints-and now we must believe their statements on the case now!]from the victim's vehicle. These prints were not identified .Our unidentified prints are on file with the FBI under the FBI file No.32-27195,Latent Case No. 73096.Copies of the latent lifts from your homicide[LB]were obtained from CII and sent to the FBI for comparison with latent lifts of our investigation."The Chief says that the suspect "used a black felt tip pen to address the envelopes and had used upper case print".This is an amazing admission -as the prints on these envelopes that containedtopsecret info that only the killer would know did NOT match the local boy's or Barnett-but they DID match Zodiac's!Zodiac used a black felt tip pen on Harnell's VW at LB.I have some Bates reports somewhere-I'll look and post.

By Realtor (Realtor) ( on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 - 10:59 am:


Did you just write that the prints on the Bates envelope matched Z's prints? I didn't think we had any Z prints...


By Howard (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 - 05:55 pm:

Realtor-No, I did say that the printing on the envelope (11/29/66')sent to the newspaper and RPD matched those of the later Zodiac missives. Of course, the CA State Document Examiner Sherwood Morrill was Z script authority(and remains so !)and it was he that declared the match.Incidently, those top secret details that Chief Kinead of RPD(69')wrote about in his letter to the NPD were originally SEALED in this same envelope/s!Also, Morrill checked their "local boy" suspects writing-no match!M even checked Paul Avery's writing-no match! I said M was a total perfectionist.Just click howard-if you are bored and you can see what I (or anyone) has posted ,as ya know.Thanx for bringing this to my attention
I want to be as accurate as possible and when I make mistakes I need to be told!

By Realtor (Realtor) ( on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 10:40 am:


Not trying to razz you or anything, but here's another question. You last post says that Sherwood Morrill was Z script authority (and remains so!). That sounds like he's still alive, yet Tom's picture of him is captioned "The late Sherwood Morrill..." If he's still alive, do you know of how I could contact him?



By Howard (Howard) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 05:12 pm:

Realtor-I know we can talk to him, all we need is a good medium! Yes, though robust and quite fit at one time,he has passed. What I meant was that his decisions were based on his vast experience and his intimate study of Zs handwriting ,which I believe ,are valid back to the point of analysis.There is a movement afoot to either downplay Morrill's work relative to Zs writing or to disregard it entirely. I fear this is based on the various personal views of different Z authorities/researchers-and myself,as I am a Morrillite! If he examined my guys' writing to Zs and there was no match I would abide by it. Now, here's what makes the case difficult and full of great pitfalls;did Zodiac use a tracing system? There are some really good ones out there. We do know that he was into disguises-at least, he says so. He covered his finger tips with airplane glue. If he wrote the Riverside letters then we know that,as the RPD stated, he was "familiar with detection techniques" as he had typed all caps and he did so on a paper/carbon stack, sending the last sheets so as to make detection of the typewriter almost impossible. Geez why not just dump the thing! Was it a 'public typewriter' or was it in someone else's home? Z apparently changed guns with each strike, and on it goes.A bit of a mystery -what's new!The only 2 things that could lead us away from a trace technique is the ball point pen etch job on the desk at Riverside and the free hand writing on the Hartnell car door.If you wrap your pen with a cloth and write in this fashion, it can alter your writing enough to change it's outward appearance.Experts don't look for 'similarities' as much as they do for linear base pattern,proportionate heights of letters,both caps/lower case ,spacing, pen lifts/press points,etc. So it's all part of a very tough case full of imponderables. No,you won't rase me -I try to focus on the case and avoid personality conflicts. We all need each other to work together in hopes of making a difference in the case-NOTHING is impossible!We should be thankful that Tom has put a lot of work AND money(thousands on the case-and that's in hours too!)into the site and that he ALLOWS us to post our various opinions. He is he ALLOWED to state his? You bet-and then some.I will keep my respect for him as a researcher and as a friend -period!Does he have faults? Yes, he will be the first to say so ;but which one of us does not? "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"-I pass!Thanks for the post.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 01:33 am:

"Rh" was etched on a desk from a Riverside City College classroom.This desk came from a music room.RH in music means right hand;or that the right hand should play.Peterson rightly says that no one with these initials "rh" could be tied into the Bates 87'.The cross/circle is the coda in music which means finish.The word literally means tail.As the dictionary says;"a concluding musical section that is formally distinct from the main structure."Does this indicate that the suspect had an interest in music and maybe even played an instrument? Did he take a music class at RCC and was a part time student. Perhaps another reason was to meet 'college girls' that may have given him the "brush off".These are just postulates,something to think about.The surmising as to what rh meant are multitudinous. Robin Hood(one of mine!),rh-the blood factor,Roane High(my suspect's HS),the principal's initials,name of a city that relates,Riverside High(Ramona High)Root Hoor (of the"Exorcist" "Alester Crowley's writings),name of a person,Rock Hard,(Little)Red Riding Hood,Roland Heights,a city in the area, are but a few.The author knew we don't!We do know Zodiac used "RP" on an envelope which stood for Red Phantom.The initials stood for an imaginary character that meant something to Zodiac at that time.Here too?

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, January 24, 2001 - 03:09 am:

I told a friend this last Sunday that my guy's full name doesn't fit in the "The Confession "BY------------" ;if ,in deed, any name has to fit!She asked me if she could see a copy of the 11/29/66' letter. She is really sharp so I thought lets see what she finds.She examined the letter very carefully and did some measuring of character spacing. She asked me how many letters my guy's full name had and I said 18;"perfect' she replied,as that is the same count she came up with!If you leave a space after the Y as is done in other places in the letter you count over the first row and it's the D in DEAD and then count the other 3 letters;then drop to the second row and you have the INK in THINKING ;then up to row one for SHE ;then drop to row 3 for the A in NEAR ;then up to row one for IS; then a drop to row two for O in ABOUT; then to row one NOT ; and to row two for M in MY.I am giving it this way as this is how she started until she got familiar with the letter. She was just trying to keep the letter spacing correct. When you do this you get 18 letter spaces to the end of the base line. My guy's full name is Bruce McGregor Davis or 18 characters!The things we won't do to show off our guy-and get shot down in the process. Ya gotta' have a little fun. I had been into the seeming 12 dashes that comprise the line after BY, but when you follow my friend's calculations it comes out to 18 spaces so we have THE CONFESSION BY-BRUCEMcGREGORDAVIS .Now how can you refute that- he left his name as the confessor on the letter! I simply must show the RSPD and all 18 of my psychologists! Man it is late ZZZZZZZ!Oscar ,I need that brew you have!

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Sunday, February 04, 2001 - 02:55 pm:

There is at least one statement in the Confession letter of 66' that could hint that Zodiac,at some time prior, read at least one book on Jack the Ripper-or worse ,he read lurid detective magazines and saw that Jack wrote letters to the Editor and the police(we know that only one of those letters may be authentic-see the best book to date on the Rip' P. Sugden's The Complete History of Jack the Ripper-he leans towards a suspect I picked out in 88'G.Chapman)and that JTR slashed the throats of his victims after he strangled them into unconsciousness ,as with Bates ,at least he attempted to choke her first. J in some cases cut the victim's uterus'out. The letter writer says:"But I shall cut off her female parts and deposit them for the whole city to see."Mary Kelly's internal organs were laid out and the the Rip' knew the the 'whole city would know'.It is only a point of interest, but Zs victim's number 5 and Jack's canonical victims was 5 .I think JTR was an influence on the young Zodiac. There's more ,but this should suffice now.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, February 18, 2001 - 01:00 am:

One other thing about my suspect- he took 3 years of Zoology in school.Many serial killers find that subject interesting and, no doubt, 'delightful!The reference shows an interest in dissection ,in this case, of the "female parts" as the'66 Riverside writer describes them.

Zs torture letter is morbid to the max ,and shows the same state of mind as the '66er.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 08:10 pm:

I will be happy to eat humble pie if the DNA proves to be Barnett's but I really have a hard time believing he is the killer. First of all, a guy with no criminal history suddenly goes into a rage and stabs his friend 42 times!?!--That is not a rage killing but the work of a psycho. Then he cleans up and jollies into a restaurant, having fun, talking with friends. If the case was ever strong he would'nt have been enjoying his freedom all these years. She would only have stayed and conversed with someone she knew, but where ?-- standing out in the dark, in the cold.
I recently took some classes at RCC and one night I had to stay late at the library (granted the place has changed a bit), and after closing I stayed outside talking to friends on a bench and quite a few people walked by -- my point is that if she had sat out there talking that long someone would have seen her(them).
I have my own theory as to what happened that fateful night. I think that Cheri checked out books (they know they were checked out at 6:00),
put them in her car and took off (that is why noone remembers seeing her at the library) with someone, possibly Barnett or another guy. The killer thinking she is still in the library disables her car and waits near her car, then her companion drops her off back at the library at aboyt 10:00ish, not waiting to see that she leaves the parking lot safely.) Cheri discovers that her car will not start and begins the scary walk to find a phone. The person she was with earlier does'nt speak up because he does not want to be implicated. Thus her killer was indeed the Zodiac.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 08:26 pm:

Cheri Jo was seen in the library the night she was killed. That aside, I'd like to think that if Zodiac was stalking Bates and disabled her car, he would have noticed her leave the library with another guy. Also, I doubt Bates would have believed a telephone to be located in an alley.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 08:40 pm:

Well for that matter what was she doing in the alley at all then? You know, the alley is right off the path, she of course would have been grabbed and pulled there.
The killer would have not seen her leave the library because he never saw her enter, he pulled up into the parking lot later noticed her car and just assumed she was inside.
Just a guess but it is as good as any.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 09:27 pm:

What path are you talking about? The entire area has changed. And which parking lot are you talking about? Bates was parked on the street.

There is no evidence to indicate Bates was forced to the alley.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 08:04 am:

I know a lot has changed but alot is still there-- like Terracina. As I understand it there was a path and offshoot alleys between each of the houses , if she wasn't forced there why would she be there?
It is true there is a whole lot of conflicting info out there, I did think she was parked in a lot, but I have to go there to get their summer schedule ( I take classes there for fun), and I am going to research it --believe it or not there are still some of the same folks working there.

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 11:56 am:

Sylvie, please e-mail me.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 12:09 pm:

There's no evidence to indicate that Bates was forced into the alley, but on the other hand, there's no evidence to indicate that she was not forced into the alley. Given the circumstances I think it's safe to postulate that she either went there with someone she knew and trusted or was forced; one way or the other.

For those not familiar with the story of the "Kissing Kidnapper," have a look at the article at Based on everything I've seen, I'm inclined to speculate that the killer may have forced Cheri to drive him about for a while before finally making per park at the college and forcing her into the alleyway. I'm also inclined to think that the assault began as an attempted rape.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Sunday, April 15, 2001 - 06:53 pm:

I still do not understand how these killers do so much without anyone noticing (O.J. included)--I mean how can somone remove a distributer wire from a car and noone sees that--especially if it was parked on the street. I throw a piece of gum out my car window and a bunch of people yell at me for littering.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 12:36 am:

Sylvie, that's because littering offends people's sensibilities, but opening the hood of one's car and puttering about is a perfectly normal activity. It takes just a few seconds to remove a distributor wire, if you know what you're doing, and how is anyone to know it's not your car you're puttering with?

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 12:45 am:

Sylvie: I haven't confirmed it yet, but I'm pretty certain that the actual site where CJB's body was found is located in what is now the parking lot bounded by Terracina, Magnolia and Ramona, directly in front of the A.G Paul Quadrangle (I believe that's the name). I think it's between the sidewalk and the first parking spaces.

There were apparently six abandoned houses along Terracina between Riverside and Magnolia, where the Quadrangle now stands and extending out into the parking lot; there was a row of houses along Fairfax as well. From what I can figure 35 years later, the alley must have been between both rows of houses, parallel with Fairfax and Terracina (at least, that's what I understand from "Mercury vapor lights now illuminate scene where Cheri Bates was killed" (The Daily Enterprise, 11-11-1966, p. B-1)). Her body was found in the driveway between 3680 and 3692 Terracina, some 75 feet from the row of lights installed ahead of schedule because of her murder. According to "Leads are few in search for knife-killer of coed" (The Press, 11-1-1966, p. B-1), her car was parked some 75 yards farther west of that driveway on Terracina (towards Magnolia).

Anyway, I hope this gives you some idea of what the area was like back then.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) ( - on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 08:16 am:

Thank you Ed,
you were extremely helpful.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 02:00 pm:

Sylvie, could you e-mail me at

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 06:14 am:

Just a couple of thoughts on the confession letter I wanted to put forward for discussion....
1.Did Zodiac know CJB?
There are probably more credible ways of making my first point here,but please cut me a little slack,it's the bottom line that's important.
Upon reading this letter I am often reminded of a scene from Silence of the lambs..the final face to face discussion between "Hannibal" and "Clarice" where she is trying to get him to identify the serial killer "Buffalo Bill".He refuses to name him outright,but does offer clues
as to how he can be found.(It's been a while),but the conversation goes something like..
Hannibal-"What does he do..This man you seek?
Clarice-"he kills..he murders..he skins!
Hannibal-"NO..that is incidental...he covets...he covets what he sees every day of the week"
And so the crime is solved, the killer is found because his first victim is someone he knows and comes from the same town.
Now,no one knows if CJB was killed by Zodiac or,if so,whether it was his first.
But the association I make is the letter itself...the author does speak about the "the blond that walks down the alley each evening about seven"...the shapely Brunette that rejected him in high school.This guy is talking about people he sees every day.
Is it not likely that if this was Zodiac,he knew
CJB..Probably only casually rather than intimately.Therefore maybe someone who actually lived in Riverside for some years as opposed a stranger murder?
Of course later your dealing with Zodiac who was able to locate a remote lovers lane area at LHR,I believe about 5 miles outside Vallejo.He would have to be local also,would he not?

2.Miss Bates
I have brought this up before,but would like to hear other opinions.I wondered if by using this term, if the author/Zodiac had made a slip or was trying to throw police off.
The impression I get is that this term would be used by someone older and/or someone who knew her who would refer to her so...Teacher ..janitor..
someone who worked at the bank or someone with an account there. Would someone of roughly the same age use this term??

3. I will deposit her female parts.
Another word used in this letter I found peculiar
was DEPOSIT.In the context in which it was used,the author obviously knew his "jack the Ripper".However the word itself is maybe an odd one to use.Maybe it's a feeble connection to make
however it is one I made before I found out that CJB actually worked in a bank.(someone posted last week).Could this be a play on words by Zodiac??
Other than that there is the question of Zodiac's
financial circumstances which I have never seen discussed.We do have different cars,weapons.Was there ever any speculation on this?

4.One for the Zynchronicity file
The confession..........by_____________
By using the letters directly below the line,Howard earlier suggested that this line left room for exactly 18 letters,skipping one space after the Y.However if you use the actual letters themselves you have TDEADINKSHEAISONOTM.Among various solutions are I.D this name on a desk O.:)

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 02:18 pm:

Lapumo wrote:
"The confession..........by_____________
By using the letters directly below the line,Howard earlier suggested that this line left room for exactly 18 letters..."

The Confession that Howard annotated is different from the one pictured on a policeman's or reporter's desk (the one described in Graysmith's book). For one thing, there are 12, not 18, underscores in the desk Confession, and there are also three Xs before "NO" in "BRUNETT WHO SAID NO." The words per line don't match, either. What Howard and I, and Tom, and everyone else I've asked, can't figure out is where this second Confession came from, if the copies sent to the newspaper and police are supposed to be carbons.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 07:06 am:

We have had an earlier discussion here concerning
the knife and whether it was broken or not.
I came away from that discussion under the impression that as far as the police were concerned,the knife was definitely NOT broken.
I was therefore perplexed upon reading a report/bulletin prepared for Law Enforcement,which included as section on items the suspect may possess;one such item-
"Small knife with blade 3 1/2" in length, 1" width.May have a broken tip".
Can anyone throw any light on this?

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 02:26 pm:

The autopsy report doesn't overtly clarify matters, but because it does not mention a broken tip found in the body or any unusual aspects of the lacerations, I think it's safe to say that the knife did not break. Moreover, that report is incorrect as to the width of the blade, which was closer to 1/2 inch, per the autopsy report.

The suggestion has been made that the "broken knife" was a Freudian reference.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 01:08 am:

Jake:The analysis I did had nothing to do with how many "underscores" that form the line after "By". Anyone who really read my idea(my friend was the one that turned me on to it)knows that the letter load ON the line from beginning to END is 18 letters.

I painstakingly cut out letters from the letter to have correct size. In this case(I know suspects make you cringe!), they were BBRYCEMCGREGORDAVIS- all 18 of them.I simply pasted each letter on your 12 underscored line and,wow,they fit perfectly!

You leave one LETTER SPACE after the(B)Y in keeping with the author's trait in this letter and it's a fit right to the terminus.

I know you won't agree with this as you must always take the opposite view point no matter what!It's alright the Board would not be the Board without Jake!Come on Jake, give us your middle name so we can see if it is 12 or 18 letters!I'm a 16 er.

I know that the word is not BRUNETTE ,it's BROWNETT in the FBI copy. We could have one set of carbons/white sheets and a single carbon letter to the Enterprise and another carbon to the Police with the FBI getting the RPD's copy-the copy I used.Overall,it seems one carbon page (2 total) of the SAME approximately 13 page sandwich,was sent to each organization.

Zodiac sent three letters to the 3 major papers in Northern CA and there were some differences(including envelopes); so might we have the same thing here?

Since you, again, have an opposite view on the Confession letter copies ,it would be an excellent project to work on.I don't see how it would materially affect the case,but every bit helps and with your excellent abilities you might discover something of interest!

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 11:37 am:

Howard, I have your diagram in front of me. Counting the characters following "BY," we have an underlined colon and then 18 underscores. Continuing to the rightmost character of the entire letter (the E in line 7's MAKE), we have 3 additional open spaces for a total of 21 spaces following the colon. I don't know what it means, and I'm not contradicting anyone, I'm just saying that the FBI's Confession letter does not match the one in the desk photo.

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, May 18, 2001 - 11:02 pm:

Jake: I hasten to answer. You still miss the point(and I say this in all kindness as you know the regard I have for your site/work or Wark!) and neglected my statement on how all the 18 letters that I CUT out from the Confession letter itself FIT PERFECTLY. The vertical lines were only used to demonstrate the fit on the typed line itself.

This is how my friend showed me that the number of slashes -12 -did not reflect letter spaces per se, but that it is an optical illusion as it were; all 18 letters can still fit with one space after BY.

Even if we did not have those vertical lines to lead us to the number of spaces available the cut and paste I did shows CLEARLY that 18 cap' letters FIT ON THE 12 slash line formed after BY. All we are looking at here is the "BY------------ "and that's it. Lampano HELP!

I must be explaining it wrong.Everybody knows I ain't too bright, but I know I got this en'. Everyone whom I have shown this to gets it regardless of how many letters their suspect's name has!

Cut the letters (its fun!)and see if they don't fit-don't worry about the desk copy it has a BY and a line too!

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Saturday, May 19, 2001 - 12:19 am:

Lapumo:As usual -and even though you live a great distance from the Z case geographically,your insights and observations are really close to the different aspects of the case!

There could very well be some indirect reference to Cheri's part time bank job by using the word "DEPOSIT" in the Confession letter.And it is quite possible that the writer banked at her place of employment and saw her there, but maybe not for the first time.

"Miss Bates" may have been on her employee name plate at the bank.So as you indicate,this could be another hark back to her job.

Could this be where, but not the only possibility, where she gave him the "brush off"(I realize its in the plural)as he either asked her out or flirted with her?

This could be another "why" she walked down that dark alley with him-he was a regular customer at the bank and , therefore, did not seem as a complete stranger.

As far as his financial status went there may be some clues.The Timex was not a Rolex! If that old 47-52 Studebaker that was parked on Riverside Dr. the night of the murder was his ,then we can also say it sure was not a Rolls Royce.The 65-66 bronze Oldsmobile that was closely following Bates down the alley to the library was a new car and if he owned that car then it changes the picture a bit.This could have been anybody though.

The typewriter was a portable Royal and was a cheap model.Again,not much but a hint about his cash flow.Those paint flecks on the watch could show a laborer or a full time painter and they made ok bucks at that time.

Witness descriptions of Z's clothes do not show a man of wealth(oh there goes Hunter!).The small car that Mageau described was not a Porsche-a car that resembled a Covair he said. He later stated it could have been a Mustang.

If we believe Johns was in Zodiac's car(I certainly do)then we really have someone, as Kathleen told me,'that was living out of his messy old car'-or this is how it seemed to her.

Zodiac had weapons ,but nothing that would show the best quality.There is more, but he seems to have been on the lower economic scale-he certainly didn't even tip Stine,but instead took his wallet and keys!Z threw the LB's couple's money and keys on their blanket to prove he was not doing the crime for money.

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Sunday, May 20, 2001 - 05:49 pm:

Howard: In reference to the statement that z's weapons were not the best quality... Browning Hi-Power pistols are definetly above average in quality. They are also not inexpensive,not back then and not now either. The J.C. Higgins pistol was inexpensive,being sold at Sears, but the quality far exceeded it's price. A well known gun mag had a top 10 all time list and the J.C. Higgins brand was on it. I however believe in the rest of your statement that z wasn't rich. Z's having used two seperate Brownings is important. Each piece probably cost almost a months pay back then, depending on the type of job. To use it once and then ditch it doesn't make sense. I can see the switch from the .22 to the 9mm for more knockdown power. By why use a second one? Because I don't think he bought them and I think there is a possibility of them being located. Opps time for the Sopranos... more later! Classic

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Sunday, May 20, 2001 - 11:23 pm:

Classic:It does not mean that Zodiac paid full price for the weapons at that time. He did say " killing tools have been boughten[English expression]through the mail order outfits before the ban[1968] went into efect.except one & it was bought out of state."

These "outfits",as Z calls them, did have discounts and sales on some weapons.The real question is where does a criminal like Z get his money for weapon purchases?

Drug sales, theft, borrows through friends of like mind,sells items(for example my guy sold some "cameras and guns" he had in '68 and a car).

What I am saying is ;it isn't the quality/cost of the weapons that determines Z's financial status , but it is HOW he got his money.

The nagging question is;did Z tell the truth relative to where he bought his "killing tools"(strange term)or did he steal them and/or acquire them through the underground?

He certainly had to be careful in buying them through friends or associates as they could be traced more easily.Z was into anti detection -that's for sure!

By Classic (Classic) ( - on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 10:13 am:

Per a Herter's mail order catalog circa 1967=
J.C. Higgins/High Standard .22 cal. pistol-$40.57 for the lowest grade,up to $89.34 for trophy grade. There were no Brownings in this catalog that I could find,however Smith and Wesson automatics were,going for $165.00. The Browning pistols are on average more expensive than Smith's and a Hi-Power model certainly would be.
My point is why only use the gun once? It is not like he was trying to confuse anyone as to who did the killings? Classic

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 03:02 pm:

Classic, we might want to look, once again, to Kaczynski for an answer to your question. Kaczynski was implicated in a ca. 1980 attempted murder by ambush of a miner near his home in Lincoln, Montana. The weapon in that case was a 30-30 rifle. Kaczynski owned such a rifle, mentioned it in his notes, and stockpiled plenty of ammunition for it. Yet after his arrest, the FBI searched high and low for it, in vain, even though they found his 30-06, his .22 pistol and several other firearms. I think the answer is fairly straightforward: having used the weapon to commit a serious crime, Kaczynski didn't want to take any chances that it could be linked back to him, in the event that he was ever suspected of the crime.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 06:47 pm:

Classic:I hate to say it, but it is a good idea to change your weapons each time and acquire another one as this will afford some protection to the perp.

To keep and use the same weapon each and every time is not the way to go if you want to cover for yourself in the best way possible.One keeps getting rid of a hot gun each time and if one tosses or trades it off in the underground each time so much the better!

My guy,for example was friends with Danny De Carlo, a Straight Satan biker at the time and a total weapons expert. De Carlo had every kind of gun imaginable and his ability to acquires guns was legendary. He was part of the underground and guns were bought, sold and traded constantly. He was also a bomb expert.

Davis, a member of the NRA and subscriber to gun magazines(using Bruce Mc Millam on one of his many fake ID's) bought a 9 MM (which the police never found!) in July of '69 along with De Carlo, who used one of his many aliases Richard Allen.

Your reference to that catalogue is good. Of course, there were many such catalogues and at times they would have specials and deals on USED guns too.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, May 28, 2001 - 12:18 pm:

Howard,your mention of "brush-offs"in the confession letter got me thinking.If Zodiac did write this letter,why I wonder would he make such a statement?.He says he wanted to punish her for the brush-offs she had given him years earlier.
Zodiac went to alot of trouble to disguise his identity.This would have provided police with a solid lead.There was always the possibility one of CJB's friends could have reported this "guy/weirdo who was hitting on Cheri that she did not like". Possibly he did actually know her and was attempting to deflect attention elsewhere!.
One more item on this letter--Keep your sisters,daughters and wives off the streets and alleys-.Now maybe it is what it is,however I wondered if(because of the order used)it betrayed
a younger author.The first thought he had on describing the females of Riverside were as sisters;wouldn't a younger guy identify with the sisters of people his own age?.Again wouldn't someone older use a different combination?-Just a thought

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, May 28, 2001 - 12:56 pm:

I'm just wondering how much of what Z wrote was BS. The thing about "brush offs" might be just that, in order to get the cops to waste time looking for a suspect among people she knew. It wouldn't be the first time, IMHO: I think that Z's claim about being born in "paradice" with "all the I have killed" becoming his slaves was nothing but pure bull pucky. Personally, I don't think he believed that at all, but he had to give the cops a "fake clew" of some sort to get them looking in the wrong place (ie, among Satan worshipers etc). Whatever his real agenda was, he couldn't mention that, or he might give everything away. Anyway, this is just a thought...

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, May 28, 2001 - 01:28 pm:

Ed, the whole idea was to throw the police off the trail of his apparent motivation, i.e., sexual frustration and hostility. Hence the allusion to "getting your rocks off with a girl." The lady who did up the linguistic analyses for me gave me a very illuminating take on that particular phrase, opining that the "with a girl" was unnecessary information that tended to suggest that Zodiac was uncomfortable with sex and his sexual identity. Note, too, that a few days after the cryptograms were received, someone sent a decryption key to the police (can't remember which particular agency; see the FBI FOIA files). This might very well have been Z himself, which suggests that he wanted the cryptogram to be solved.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Monday, May 28, 2001 - 01:57 pm:

Ed, I would agree,but BS with with a definite agenda.I do think as you that Paradice Slaves is absolute bull,but again I'll bet the full meaning of that first cipher has yet to be discovered.
I am of the opinion that the Riverside link is crucial.

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Monday, May 28, 2001 - 03:01 pm:

Doug wrote:
"Note, too, that a few days after the cryptograms were received, someone sent a decryption key to the police (can't remember which particular agency; see the FBI FOIA files). This might very well have been Z himself, which suggests that he wanted the cryptogram to be solved."

The key was sent anonymously from San Francisco to the Vallejo PD. It was postmarked August 10, though -- the day after the cryptogram was published in toto by the Chronicle and Times-Herald. The accompanying note was typed, but the key itself was handwritten; I've never seen either, and can't comment on what the writing looks like. I've never seen reference to it after August '69, though.


By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 12:50 am:

Lampumo: I delved into Cheri's life and found that there were many guys that hit on her! This we have from a former girl friend and others.

Also,this source told us that the male construction workers on campus flirted with Cheri and yelled out various things about Cheri and she ignored them all.This must have also happened when this female and other friends were not around.There were many workers at that time as the college was undergoing a major construction project. I researched this project in depth.

The writer of the Confession letter was just a little safe in making that "brush off" statement as there were lots of 'brush off causalities' and this could only increase suspects NOT decrease them!It could have been a FACT because Zodiac, as Graysmith says ,was fairly truthful in what he said.The truth hurts ,yes, it did here -it hurt the RPD's chances of pinning down a suspect!

I do not think that the 'sisters order' indicates a younger person, to the contrary, it could show an older man as he mentions "wives". I do not think that a teen would be interested in someone's wife,in this context,as a potential murder victim ;I would think a teenager would mention 'girls' not "sisters and daughters" and especially "wives"!

The order probably is not significant(but who knows), but your comments show your constant probing into old issues and it's great! We are all attempting to delve into the mind of a psychotic and it is difficult at times; but it is good that all of the various opinions are brought forth.

As to Zodiac's "slaves in paradise"reference;I think that since this is such a little known teaching (I confirmed this with life long students of the occult)in the occult, I think it shows someone that has studied the occult in depth ,especially, the darker side.This was a much different variation than the Egyptian teaching of servants or slaves in the afterlife serving food, etc. to the Pharaoh.

I went through a ton of occult books-including interviews with advocates of occult teaching -and I could not find or learn of such a teaching.I first read about it when I researched Manson's beliefs. He used to go to a house run by a lady from S.F. that was into very heavy "devil worship and other Satanic activities" and teaching, etc. Manson said he learned a lot from these people.

The variation of the slaves teaching was that M believed that when a follower would kill someone and 'release their soul' that the person would be his 'slave in the afterlife.'

Now,if Manson could believe in such teachings due to his intense inquiries, then why couldn't some -one calling himself the ZODIAC write about the teaching and even believe in it?

Z constantly refers to it all throughout his letters (find them -it's interesting)as though it was part of his philosophy-"So I shall change the way the collecting of slaves."One may argue from the standpoint of Z's 'true' beliefs, but not from his knowledge of such a rarely taught doctrine!

Dave Peterson and I researched the occult and gained a deep perspective, and I agree with him ,that if someone does not even know astrology-which is 'elemental', then their comments on Z's seeming occult beliefs-of which the letters abound in places-are of little value.

I firmly believe Zodiac believed and understood occult teaching-including astrology -and that to the informed it is abundantly clear. This ain't Ted Bundy here, ya gotta know more-much more ,to make informed opinions!

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 03:57 am:

Howard,I am not suggesting that Zodiac did not have an understanding/interest in occult matters.
My comment was "BS with an agenda".I believe he was an intelligent well read person who used his knowledge on different subjects,to impress his audience and lead them astray.
I had a great interest in such things and have read numerous books on the subject from Aleister Crowley to Zolar.As Crowley once said "the only trouble with magic is that it doesn't work".
I believe this knowledge,like his knowledge of other subjects was used as means to an end.I do not see enough to make me believe Zodiac believed.
On CJB..the comment made was the Brush-offs(plural) he'd gotten years earlier.Technically speaking this would be 2 years or more.The suggestion I made was not that there were no "Brush-offs"but rather that possibly the interest was more recent and maybe even more subtle.Coming from someone who may have thought he'd come under suspicion.He appeared to want to put distance between himself and Cheri.He did later go on to talk about the girl who refused a date in High School,again indicating a length of time.The most dangerous and effective liar is one who mixes lies with the truth.
Incidentally,the closest I've read to the paradice slaves belief was the Matamoros case (I posted under Occult thread some while back).
I do however find it interesting that it was a belief held by Manson and co.Which brings me to a question I've been meaning to ask you for a while.
Davis was a Manson follower,Do you believe he could/did act alone as Zodiac?..A subject for a different thread.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 08:47 am:

Lampumo:Thanx for your reply and as always it is thoughtful and helpful.Some of the post just relates to the subject matter and is not implying that you , personally ,are ignorant relative to the subjects at hand.

I think one of the best indications that Zodiac believed in astrology is the fact-known to professional astrologers which I consulted-that his strike days were lined up with aspects for that day.

These were considered auspicious to someone who used astrology for their own purposes, in this case, evil designs i.e. murder.This goes for the letters also.The full and new moons are only scratching the surface-there are many other factors ,as Dave Peterson discovered,and delineated in his many letters and conversations to me.

The thing that amazed me and one astrologer in particular,was that my guy's chart ,which he knew, lined up with Zodiac attacks starting in October 1966(and at a short period in '63-4).It is a Pluto transit and it came "in" and went "out" on the attack periods (within days!)and ended December 1970 when my guy was taken into custody!

Peterson learned the subject to know the case and Zodiac from his perspective-we don't advocate the subject and the occult.It was a very useful tool as this was a rare situation in this kind of a series of murders.What I am saying, neglecting my personal suspect choice,is that Zodiac "practiced what he preached"in the area of astrology, which led us to believe it was the same for the occult references in his letters!

According to our view, there were different reasons for the mention of occult references in the letters, which are expounded upon in our book, but there is also a 'belief' present to be sure.

As far as the 'order' statement goes, the writer did use the word girls twice, but in direct relation to being a victim -"I am stalking your girls now...and... save that girl in the alley.The 'sisters,daughters and wives' represent the females as a class and I feel it shows an older mind set-he's not just concerned with "chicks" or "girls" per se.

He calls Cheri "Miss Bates"(used more frequently in the South as I have been informed)which could imply an older man.

It presents, as I see it, an older man that is after young girls in their teens -and that are attractive. His description of the victims as "young (older man's view point?)and beautiful" and the "brownett"(not brunett)that he describes as "shapely"indicates he is stimulated by their appearance,etc.

There are many other indicators of age/experience,,including the way in which the letter was produced-carbons/paper stack for purposes of anti detection, but this is good for now.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 02:25 pm:

p.s Howard,If Zodiac did have a belief in anything,it was more than likely Masonry.There are several subtle links throughout his letters that suggest some link.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 04:25 pm:

It's interesting to note that there was a Masonic temple located on Second St. in Napa (torn down ca. 1974), just a few blocks from 1231 Main St, and around the corner from Fagiani's.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, May 30, 2001 - 12:16 am:

Lampumo:If you will check my past Archival posts(including posts on Bruce Davis) you will see that I noted the Masonic factors in the Z case. I also brought out that Manson and Davis had an interest in Masonery and that Manson even studied the subject while in prison. Some of his hand signals that he gives are Masonic.Astrology is connected to Masonery also.There is much symbolism involved in this organization.

Eds remarks on that Lodge are interesting.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, June 13, 2001 - 03:56 am:

As "Bob Barnett" is now apparently cleared is it time to re-evaluate the confession letter.The most straightforward explaination,I would suggest,is that it is from her Killer!.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 01:00 pm:


By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 05:13 pm:

Lapumo: the bar at 813 Main St. in Napa where Anita Andrews was murdered on 7-10-1974, the day that a story about Z's last authenticated letter (the Red Phantom letter, 7-8-1974) appeared in the Register. It's a stone's throw from the parking lot that used to be the Napa Car Wash at 1231 Main St.

By Bucko (Bucko) ( - on Monday, October 22, 2001 - 10:13 pm:

The letter reads "....but only one thing was on my mind. Making her pay for the brush offs that she had given me during the years prior."

If CJB had in fact given him the "brush offs" for "years", he must have had some contact with her while she was in high school. I wonder if any of her high school friends remember a somewhat older man attempting to become friendly with her. Did he also live in or have close ties to the Riverside area for "years"?

The letter also states " The battery must have been dead by then. I then offered to help. She was then very willing to talk to me."

Does this imply that he had attempted to talk to her in the library, but was rebuffed? Perhaps this led to his anger and her eventual murder. It has been suggested by someone on this board that he didn't bring along a very good murder weapon. Maybe he hadn't really planned to kill her that night.

Of course, this all assumes the letter to be truthful. It may not be. I am curious what the conventional wisdom is on these two points, or what theories others may have, especially concerning the possible truthfulness of the letter.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 05:48 pm:

Please see posts related to your topic as most of it has been covered except,to my knowledge,your statement that the perp may have spoken to Cheri in the Annex,but was (again?)rebuffed.

She may have been focused on her studies,as Sylvie brought out,and simply ignored him not realizing she was dealing,in some form, with a psychopath;that on a mental/emotional level was simmering with built up rage which he eventually expressed that night in the alley and is so evident in her autopsy report!

Also,this expressed pent up anger that Cheris body bore so vividly,indicates to me that there was a sustained build up and that it had to be over a period of time-even years;so he probably did know of her and approached her periodically only to be "brushed off".This shows the validity of that "brush off" phrase,but that it was,as he writes,over the years(pl.).

A "brush off" to a disturbed highly sensitive person could be simply not saying hello to him or ignoring him when he looked her way-it does not necessarily imply a conversation.He writes:"She was THEN very willing to TALK to me."This implies a first,but tinged with anger.(EMP mine)

The young blond woman seen speaking with the young bearded man is provoking in light of your query.Was it CJB?

The knife issue was discussed in past posts and is mute.He DID KILL her with a SMALL KNIFE and nearly decapitated her-something even Jack the Ripper had tried to do with his 'larger' knife and had failed to do!Facts are facts even if it seems unlikely.He also did PLAN to kill Cheri as he sabotaged her VM!Reread the letter with that thought in mind-PLANNED!

Good questions and thinking.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 06:05 pm:

I forgot to mention that the letters' contents do not necessarily imply that he knew her in high school.Many students were interviewed by the RPD without successfully making any firm determination as to ascertaining guilt in any of them.

I believe it was someone living in the area.This was the consensus of a 'secret' detective meeting which included Riverside law enforcement at that time period."Close ties to Riverside"was the conclusion.

Those three 4/30/67 Z (love Somels discovery that one had the Z within the E-see his post)notes sent to the Riverside paper,Mr.Bates and the RPD ,could indicate that he still lived in the area at that time ,or at least, kept up with reading their newspaper.After that he seems to have left the area.No more letters,etc.

By Bucko (Bucko) ( - on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 09:37 pm:

Howard wrote: "He also did PLAN to kill Cheri as he sabotaged her VM!Reread the letter with that thought in mind-PLANNED!"

I agree, Howard. At some point in time he did plan aspects of the killing. I just wonder if murder was on his mind prior to that day, or if it was brought about by a final "rebuff" that night. You make a good point on the knife issue. I guess size of the knife doesn't matter if you know how to use it.

"A "brush off" to a disturbed highly sensitive person could be simply not saying hello to him or ignoring him when he looked her way-it does not necessarily imply a conversation."

Excellent point....

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, October 25, 2001 - 02:32 am:

He did say only "one thing" was on his mind and that was to "make her pay"(with her life).He also wrote that Cheri was "not the first" murder he committed(or would it be his "last"-see my posts on Nikki Benedict and det.Wm.Bakers fine posts on his Santa Barbara couple 187).All this implies he had murder on his mind that night.
If the rh poem be accepted as Zodiacs(I do) then this is further proof he was going to murder her.See posts on this heated subject and controversy!
In the 4/30/67 Z Notes he wrote that Bates HAD to die.This, to my way of thinking ,shows he felt it was something he 'had' to do that night and that in his way of thinking, it was a necessity-it "had" to happen-she had to die.
Just like at the beginning of the 11/29/66 letter he vividly describes (his "next victim")two young ladies he wants to kill the same must have held true for CJB.He must -like those two girls-have spent many a night fantasying about her death and how he would do it."I am stalking your girls now."

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 11:51 am:

Over in the Kelleher book thread, Howard wrote:"Of course,the person who wrote the '66 typed letter wasn't Zodiac and he didn't kill Bates."

I wonder whether there is anything like consensus on this, particularly on the contention that the author of The Confession did not do the deed.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 02:59 pm:

Peter H.,
You do realize that I am referring to Kellehers opinion as expressed in his book and that I personally feel 100%that, not only was Zodiac Bates' killer, but that he wrote the'66 typed letter and the three '67 notes also.I have always been firm on this issue.

I think Dr.Van Nuys and Kelleher are 100% wrong in saying that Zodiac did not write the Confession letter and that their analysis shows that Z didn't write it.I also think that both men don't really KNOW Zodiac and his traits like they think they do and I affirm their opinions manifest this assessment.

I believe it takes several years of study(and more study!)AND thought-very important,to really fully grasp Zodiacs complex character as presented in his letters and activities,etc.When one properly examines the Confession letters' contents with the body(no pun!)of Zodiacs later missives they display similar characteristics and more than enough to demonstrate same authorship.I have studied psychology with linguistic parallel studies since'63 and I fully affirm this statement-they are one and the same man!

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 02:48 pm:

Howard: Yes, I do, and it is that 100% certanty factor that I was addressing. 100 percent certanty certainty implicates consensus. (Consensus, of course may be pro or con) I am interested in knowing whether your certainty is widely shared.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 05:18 pm:

It is interesting that the Confession letter 11/29/66 is typed in caps and is on teletype paper.
Western Union,according to their historian,who e mailed me ,stated that WU "used teletype paper up to 1977."
Now,we all know that WU messages,as per the historian,were/are in caps.
The Confession is like a WU message!Did the perp work at a WU in some capacity?Is this where he got the teletype paper?
I am fully aware that it has been conjectured that the writer,in order to disguise his typewriter,used all caps so there would be no space and height variations between caps and lower case characters,etc.;but, was he also trying to imitate a WU message and could this give us some "clews"?FYI

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) ( - on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 03:35 am:

Howard, out of curiosity, I'm wondering if one could identify and locate all of the Western Union offices in California for 1966? If so, can it be demonstrated that any known suspects worked at such a facility within +/-1 year of Cheri Jo Bates' murder?

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 12:58 am:

I am in contact with Western Unions historian and I have a 'little list' of questions to ask him.I will keep you apprised.The answer to you question is a yes,but I am finding out more.

By Daijove (Daijove) ( - on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 03:51 am:

Hi, I am new to this board. I hope to contribute something worthwhile. Having read most of the posts I would like to ask if anyone has any info on the constructions crews that were working at Riverside during that time frame? The fact that the poem was written on the bottom of a desk indicates to me that someone had ample time and access(perhaps someone working in the music room?) to leave that little note also the use of the words "blue Meanies" is also a British term used in England. Another interesting item I noted on this board was the reference to the 1940's Texarkana Killer who also pulled the wires from a distribitor in the commission of his crimes. My last question is just how good were the greasy palm and fingerprints left behind at the scene of the crime? Also using the DNA evidence the police have did they eliminate any of the suspects that have been mentioned on this board?

By Daijove (Daijove) ( - on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 06:00 am:

Ok, I just read several more posts. Sylvie could you e-mail me? The professor you spoke to could you speak to him again? If Zodiac were a part of the construction crew then it is possible he made some superficial friendships with perhaps some of the professors(especially the music professor). Zodiac has a need to impress people with his intelligence and it is possible he may have known several professors. I strongly feel that all of the listed major suspects will eventually be eliminated by use of DNA results.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 06:21 pm:

The Western Union historian contacted me again and said that it would have been 'easy' for an employee (they used a lot of young men in their 20's)to get teletype paper out of the trash at any of the WU offices.He said this could explain the torn edges on the'66 Confession letter,which resembles a WU wiregram all in caps.
He went to Toms site(thought it was great)to view the letter.He thinks I could be on to something(yeah another dead end!).The security rules were not in place as they are today,so someone could have used their machines and typewriters and,yes,take teletype paper from the office!A dipster out in back of a WU office could supply the teletype paper,but why teletype and all caps,unless there was some 'influence' from WU?Just speculating.They used teletypes until 1977 as given.
There were offices all over CA.,including the Riverside area and yellow pages of that time period will show their addresses.They did not keep employee lists.SS records can afford info in this regard.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 10:43 pm:

"Yes,I did make that call to you.Also,it was just a warning."The Confession letter seems to refer to a SPECIFIC call by saying "that call."
In the FBI report it says"He[RSPD officer]that other points[besides the pulling of the middle wire]in the letter ,such as details of the manner of the murder and THE CALL to the police department,made it appear that the writer of this letter is actually the murderer."This was a trait of the future Zodiac.He called VPD,NPD and possibly OPD and the RSPD.
They,privately, seemed to have known about a certain call to them which seemed to be in the form of a "warning."They did mention some "crank calls" publicly,but not a specific call.They denied any particular call from the perp.

By Howard Davis (Howard) ( - on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 02:39 pm:

In this section I brought out the possibility that young Zodiac may have had some contact or was influenced by Western Union.See posts.
My suspicions deepened when I found a Western Union telegram(see L.A.library site and click Elizabeth Short #76-you will see some Z like letters/envelopes which Z may have been influenced by as he may have read detective magazines)to Beth Short- the "Black Dahlia" and I realized the so called 'equal' symbol was used in WU telegrams after a persons name-the same as after the "Paul averly"(note upper case P and lower case a) name on the Pines card!FYI