Richard Radetich Message Board: General Zodiac Discussion: Richard Radetich

By Kc (Kc) ( - on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 - 08:37 pm:

Anyone out there know anything about Richard Radetich? He is mentioned on pg. 150 of the original hardback version of Greysmith book and again in the back.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 02:13 am:

KC-Just that he was shot by BMA with a .38 as he was writing a ticket at 600 Waller(yipps-waller!).I have pointed out that I see the Manson/ black connection and Zs apparent reference to this incident and his taking responsibility(unless it was a .38 hit ,say, in another part of the Bay area-probably not,but good project though)that is, M/Z/Davis pointing out a black as the perp,but saying "I" did it-it's Ms way of thinking/symbolism!The "punished" Z put in his letter(see) is of importance with regards to this scenario. He decides that he will punish the Bay area for not complying with his orders. Z orders Editors to print certain sections of his letters and if they don't he will 'do his thing',etc.He indirectly refers to the entire N. Bay as 'his territory ,at least ,sections of it.He didn't want people to think that a recent bomb blast that killed a "blue meannie"(Beatles song/reference)at a "cop station"(see 4/20/70' letter)was his work;he did not want his readers to think he was encroaching on 'someone else's territory'-a fellow revolutionary just doing his job in his own section.It would seem Z was struggling for a dominant position as Chief terrorist over the North Bay people!DO OR SOMEONE DIES!Read his letters with this regard or theme in mind.

By Kc (Kc) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 08:28 am:

Interesting, anyone ever charged with this crime, and or more importantly was the gun ever found? I have some thoughts on this however want to develop them a little before airing them. Thanks for the info.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 06:11 pm:

As far as I know ,the shooter was found guilty and sentenced later. As to his present fate I have no knowledge-good project.If in CA custody he is massive from lifting weights so when he gets out his victims can be beaten and killed to an inch of finality!And he has t.v.,stereo combo with full sound,hundreds of dollars on the books and plenty of drugs to furthur wipe out what remaining brain cells he has left(4or 5!).

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 06:59 pm:

Joe A. Johnson was the suspect in Radetich's murder. I didn't follow the story too far, so I don't know if he was caught (presumably he was), nor do I know the outcome of the trial. The interesting thing was the Radetich was shot a full week before Z wrote the letter apparently claiming him as a victim. Who did Z think he was kidding?

By Esau (Esau) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 07:19 pm:

I wonder if DOJ has found any unsolved "man in a parked car shot with a .38" during that time in another area or state.

By Kc (Kc) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 07:41 pm:

Thank you for info. Will have to see what I can find out re: status of Joe J./ or case in general. I have no doubt that Z's letter referred only to Radetich, not another .38" victim. Do you have any memory of where you heard that Joe Johnson was the suspect? Looking for a starting place.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 11:01 pm:

Anyone remember a man in Napa, being shot in the head in his car at the Napa bowling alley around that time? He lived through it, the bullet went around his forehead and out!I am not sure if it was a 38 or not,but it was a stranger who shot him.

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Thursday, January 18, 2001 - 11:19 pm:

KC, it was in the Chronicle, the week before Z mailed that letter.

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 01:39 am:

Sandy-Yeah, I heard he was PINNED down by the shooter!Your story bowled me over!Bad humor, I know. Do some looking on that one.Zodiac simply said "I shot a MAN(not cop)sitting in a parked car with a .38."

By Howard (Howard) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 01:49 am:

KC-I posted every article at this site with dates found in the Chronicle relative to Zodiac; there should be a story or a reference to the perp.If you contact them and give the officer's name and time frame they will look up any stories for you. I was lucky they didn't charge me. There will be a small fee for the copies,postage and their time.

By Jake Wark (Jake) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 02:48 pm:

Ed N. wrote:
"The interesting thing was the Radetich was shot a full week before Z wrote the letter apparently claiming him as a victim."

Being on the wrong coast, my source is Graysmith, but wasn't Radetich shot June 26, the day Z sent that letter?

"This is the Zodiac Speaking..."

By Ed N. (Edn) ( - on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 09:14 pm:

Jake, it's in one of those stories I've yet to copy and send you (I haven't forgotten!). Radetich was shot at approximately 5:30 AM on June 19th, 1970, and underwent six hours of brain surgery (which required more than 10 pints of blood), but died shortly afterwards at 8:02 PM the same day ("Big Manhunt: Mystery Gunman Kills S.F. Officer," San Francisco Chronicle, 6-20-1970, p. 1). He was shot apparently three times with a .38, and was the 61st homicide that year and the fourth officer to die in the line of duty in the previous 13 months (Joseph Brodnik shot to death on 5-1-1969, Z-witness Eric Zelms on 1-1-1970, and Sergeant Brian McDonnell on 2-16-1970; McDonnell died in the Park Street Police Station bombing that Z referred to in his letter of 4-20-1970).

Radetich was buried on June 22nd, and over 300 officers were in attendance. He left behind his wife Nancy, and 8 month old daugher Jeanine. Later that day, Mayor Joseph Alioto authorized a $5,000 reward for the capture and conviction of Radetich's killer.

At 11:27 PM that night, detectives named Joe A. Johnson as a suspect in Radetich's murder ("Suspect in Shooting of Patrolman," San Francisco Chronicle, 6-23-1970, p. 1). In an interesting case of zynchronicity, Inspector Walter Krache (spelled "Kracke" in Zodiac), the first cop on the scene of the Stine murder (Zodiac, pp. 86-87), was apparently assigned to investigate Radetich's murder.

By Sandy (Sandy) ( - on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 10:01 pm:

Ed Zelms was the one who was killed on duty wasn't he? Can you tell us what happened? The date 1-1-70 would have been Darlenes 4th anniversary to Phillips, just a thought.The 4th letter D?