A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

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A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by Rocketman on March 9th 2016, 9:22 pm

From http://mk-zodiac.com/041365.html

Was the murderer of Cheri Jo Bates inspired by a similar crime?

Solar Pons, a moderator at the internet forum http://zodiackillersite.com, inquired about a crime which happened prior to the murder of Cheri Jo Bates on October 30, 1966. Solar Pons had read the article about Cheri Jo Bates by John Montgomery from the January, 1969, issue of Inside Detective magazine, which is posted here http://www.zodiackiller.com/InsideDetective1.html

About a year and a half before Cheri Jo Bates was murdered, someone attempted to stab to death a student at Riverside City College. This article mentioned that this similar attack occurred sometime in April of 1965.



Project MK-ZODIAC has previously investigated this similar attack. Here are the pertinent facts...

Rolland Lin Taft stabbed [first name redacted] Atwood at Riverside City College on Tuesday, April 13, 1965. Atwood was 19 years old and was a student at Riverside City College who attended classes in the evening. Taft was 18 years old and his father was a minister.

This crime occurred near a different parking lot than the one which was near the alley where Cheri Jo Bates was murdered over a year later. Atwood was attacked by Taft in the parking lot near Cutter Pool at Riverside City College.

Atwood was walking through the parking lot because she was going to where she lived nearby. Taft was in his car and drove by Atwood. Taft asked Atwood repeatedly if she would like to go for a ride with him in the car and Atwood declined.

Taft got out of the car and followed Atwood to an area near the parking lot and then, after a brief struggle, Taft stabbed Atwood in her stomach with a hunting knife. Taft ran away, leaving the knife at the scene of the crime. After the attack, Atwood asked her neighbors to help her. Atwood was hospitalized at Riverside Community Hospital at 4445 Magnolia Avenue which was close to where the attack occurred and where Atwood lived at the time.

Atwood lived at 4510 Lemon Street (which happens to have been near the office of the Press-Enterprise newspaper at 3512 14th Street). Taft lived at 5033 Arlington Avenue (which happens to have been near Ramona High School at 7675 Magnolia Avenue and the home of Cheri Jo Bates at 4195 Via San Jose).

This crime was investigated by Detective R. D. Yonkers of the Riverside Police Department who would later investigate the murder of Cheri Jo Bates.

Taft was arraigned for attempted murder on Wednesday, April 28, 1965, and later convicted. Rolland Lin Taft was born in the County of Los Angeles on September 21, 1946, and died in the County of Los Angeles on April 20, 1974. Taft was in jail when Bates was killed, so it was not possible that Taft was the murderer.

Project MK-ZODIAC has theorized that this crime may have inspired the murderer of Cheri Jo Bates. Cheri Jo Bates was stabbed to death with a knife in an alley near a parking lot at Riverside City College on October 30, 1966.

The Riverside Police Department has never commented publicly about whether or not there is any evidence that Cheri Jo Bates knew either Atwood or Taft. The Zodiac may or may not have been the same person as the murderer of Cheri Jo Bates.

A few years later, on September 27, 1969, the Zodiac would write the phrase "by knife" on the car door at Lake Berryessa after the stabbing attack in which the Zodiac wounded Bryan Hartnell and killed Cecelia Shepard.

If you have any additional information, please email project@mk-zodiac.com.
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by Rocketman on March 9th 2016, 9:27 pm

Taft was also a graduate of Ramona HS in Riverside, same as Cheri. He was born in Sept. 21, 1946 in Los Angeles and died in 1974.
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=317322&GRid=72148963&

That is all I have found on Taft.
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by Rocketman on March 9th 2016, 9:49 pm

"She didn't die this time"

Could this stabbing be the clue to the desk poem at RCC?
http://mk-zodiac.com/TheOriginofthePoemTheTaftTheory.html

I can't find anything online about the stabbing other than what I have posted from mk-zodiac.com

Does anybody else have further info or details? Taft died before he reached 30. Can anybody find out how he died? How long was he incarcerated?
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by ophion1031 on March 12th 2016, 11:16 pm

I hope all of Taft's friends were at least looked at for Cheri Jo's murder. I cannot find anything on him other that what you posted. I tried to find out the name of the girl he stabbed, but had no luck finding out her first name.
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by ophion1031 on March 12th 2016, 11:18 pm

Rocketman wrote:"She didn't die this time"

Could this stabbing be the clue to the desk poem at RCC?
http://mk-zodiac.com/TheOriginofthePoemTheTaftTheory.html

I can't find anything online about the stabbing other than what I have posted from mk-zodiac.com

Does anybody else have further info or details? Taft died before he reached 30. Can anybody find out how he died? How long was he incarcerated?

Very interesting. I wonder if she was wearing a red dress? That would really make it interesting.
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by Otto Van der Muellen on April 24th 2016, 10:15 pm

Awful suspicious to tell the truth.
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by sandy betts on April 30th 2016, 9:19 pm

I would think that it would have been in the Tiger Times newspaper ? I have been there many times and this next Oct 30th will be the 50th anniversary. I will be there and then perhaps check the Enterprise and the Tiger Times school paper?
The school will be 100 yrs old then and how I know this is that I have the Tiger Times about Cheri Jo's murder and there was a heading that said it was the schools 50th anniversary. I feel strongly about Zodiac being her killer. Mainly because of the things that were put in my car from Zodiac. I believe that the tiny Catholic prayer book that was with the costume belonged to Cheri Jo, who was Catholic. Unless anyone can think of another Catholic victim? The poem could have been about the other girl? Somehow we need to find her and see if she had on a red dress the night she was stabbed. But then the writing was done by Zodiac according to Sherwood Morrill.

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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by ophion1031 on April 30th 2016, 9:42 pm

I also lean towards Zodiac being Cheri's killer. I'm not convinced, but I do think it is more likely than not. Then again, that would probably rule out the theory that Zodiac had someone else writing the letters in the bay area. Unless he had this person as a partner in Riverside. Not out of the question I suppose.
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by JohnFester on May 1st 2016, 10:36 pm

I don't see how Sherwood conclusively determined the desktop poem to be the same handwriting as the Z letters. There are similarities but to me it doesn't look conclusive.
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Re: A similar crime prior to the Bates murder

Post by JohnFester on May 1st 2016, 10:38 pm

Z took credit AFTER if was public information and that is what I have a problem with.
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