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The Silent Alley: The Tragic Night of Cheri Josephine Bates 

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The evening of October 30, 1966, marked a grim chapter in Riverside, California’s history. An 18-year-old college student named Cheri Josephine Bates met a gruesome fate between 9:23 PM and 12:23 AM the following morning. This first part of our series delves into the haunting details of that tragic night and invites you to join a community of new Zodiac Killer enthusiasts in unraveling the mystery. 

Cheri Josephine Bates: A Promising Young Life 

Cheri Bates, a recent graduate of Riverside’s Ramona High School, was a bright and spirited young woman. Her future seemed promising as she embarked on her college journey at Riverside City College. However, on the night of October 30, Cheri’s life was brutally cut short. 

A Routine Visit to the Library 

That fateful evening, Cheri visited the Riverside City College library, which was open on Sundays for student convenience. She checked out three books around 6:00 PM and returned to her Volkswagen Beetle parked on a nearby city street. Unbeknownst to her, someone had tampered with her vehicle, ensuring it wouldn’t start. 

The Fatal Encounter 

Stranded and vulnerable, Cheri was approached by her assailant. She walked approximately 200 feet from her car into a secluded alley between two vacant houses on the college campus. Here, the attacker struck with a short-bladed knife, stabbing her multiple times in the chest and back, and slashing her throat with such force that she was nearly decapitated. 

The Aftermath 

Cheri’s lifeless body bore the marks of a savage attack. She had been beaten and choked, yet there was no evidence of sexual assault or robbery. The murder weapon was a knife with a blade about 3.5 inches long. The assailant left behind only a few clues: a confession letter and heel prints from military-issued footwear. 

The Zodiac Connection 

Initially, Cheri Bates was not linked to the infamous Zodiac Killer. However, by October 1969, similarities between her murder and the Zodiac’s known modus operandi raised suspicions. This led to a pivotal moment in November 1970 when investigators officially connected her case to the Zodiac Killer. 

Join the Investigation 

As we explore the chilling details of Cheri Bates’ murder, we invite you to join a community of amateur sleuths. By delving into the past and examining the evidence, you can contribute to the ongoing investigation. For those eager to dive deeper, Tom Voigt’s book, Zodiac Killer: Just the Facts, available on Amazon, provides 200 pages of comprehensive police reports and insights into the case. 
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Who Is Tom Voigt? 

Tom Voigt is responsible for the creation, curation, and editing of the #1 Zodiac Killer website, Launched in 1998, remains the ONLY Zodiac Killer website recognized by law enforcement. To learn more about the release of Zodiac Killer: Just the Facts, as well as other information about the Zodiac Killer case, visit today.