(Cheri Josephine Bates at age 17 in 1965)
NEW: Zodiac's Dark Alley
TOP SECRET REPORT
Riverside 40th Anniversary
Oct. 30, 2003 Update
Original Newspaper Story
Detailed Crime-Scene Photo
RCC Campus, 1966
Cheri's Death Certificate
Desk-Top Poem Scale
Six Months Later
Crime Scene At Night
RPD Press Release
In November 1970, Cheri was determined to be a definite Zodiac victim...a fact that eventually became a point of contention. Her case is being actively investigated in 2021. Zodiac victim or not, I am hopeful Cheri will get justice soon.
Killed: Between 9:23 PM Oct. 30 (Sun.) and 12:23 AM Oct. 31 (Mon.)
Below: The updated story of Zodiac victim Cheri Jo Bates -- an original, full-length podcast:
Zodiac victim? Zodiac was first considered a suspect in the Bates murder in October 1969, when the Riverside Police Department noted similarities between the Bates case and Napa County's Zodiac killing of Sept. 27, 1969. By November 1970, the news media had gotten wind of the possible Zodiac-Bates connection and both the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times published lengthy stories. Zodiac detectives from the San Francisco Bay Area met with investigators handling the Bates case, and the conclusion was made that Zodiac was Cheri's killer. (For all the details of the bizarre twists and turns in the Bates case, check out "The Curse of the Confession" above.) Eventually the Zodiac sent a letter to the Los Angeles Times postmarked March 13, 1971, accepting responsibility for the Bates crime. As in the subsequent Zodiac attacks, the Bates case saw police-taunting letters written to the newspapers. A confession letter was mailed anonymously from Riverside on Nov. 29, 1966 (Tuesday) to both the Riverside Police Department and the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper, and included details of the murder that had never been revealed by police. In December 1966, a desk with a morbid poem scratched into the surface was discovered in the college library. The writing was eventually attributed to the Zodiac killer. Additionally, three other letters sent anonymously from Riverside on April 30, 1967 to the above recipients, as well as to the victim's father Joseph, have been attributed to the Zodiac.
Conclusion: The original investigation concluded the Zodiac was the murderer of Cheri Jo Bates. All of the details can be found in "The Curse of the Confession" above.
(NOTE: All of the April 30, 1967 letters can be found at the Zodiac Letters page.)
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