Was the offer of a lift in the 'Confession' letter a precursor to luring the young girl away from the area, possibly for sexual purposes, that ultimately failed and reached a violent conclusion in the Riverside alleyway on October 30th 1966. Cheri Jo Bates suffered many knife wounds to her face, neck and body, from which the killer apparently gained great pleasure from reliving, in addition to such details as "she squirmed and shook as I choaked her, and her lips twiched." So using all of the above details, we shall look for future crimes containing some of these key elements.
In 1995 William Lester Suff was convicted of the murders of 12 women between 1986 and 1992 in Riverside County, after being released from a 10 year prison sentence, spanning 1974 to 1984, for the murder of his two month old daughter Dijanet Suff. However, he may have committed at least 22 murders. But what was he doing from 1966 to 1974? William Suff was born August 20th 1950 in Torrance, California, so would have been 16 years of age at the time of Cheri Jo Bates' murder. He graduated from Perris High School in 1968.
'William Lester Suff, 41--a local boy still remembered by schoolmates and teachers in the Riverside area--has been charged in two of the grisly murders. Authorities say they are confident of linking Suff to a majority of the 19 murders of women, mostly prostitutes and drug users, whose bodies had been dumped in this semirural community and elsewhere in western Riverside County. Every victim was stabbed or strangled or both, according to new details, and three of the recent bodies were mutilated--a breast cut off each.' Los Angeles Times. 1992.
'William L. Suff, 44, a Riverside County warehouse worker who helped deliver office furniture to the law enforcement task force that was searching for the serial killer, was found guilty of luring the prostitutes into his vehicle, strangling or stabbing them and dumping their bodies in alleys, trash bins, orange groves and fields, primarily around Riverside and Lake Elsinore'. Los Angeles Times. 1995.
The mention of cutting off body parts in the 'Confession' letter may have been an early sadistic fantasy, that eventually came to fruition.
The victims were lured into his vehicle before being strangled and stabbed.
His first known victim was 23 year old Michelle Yvette Gutierrez on October 30th 1986, the 20th anniversary of the Riverside College murder. The young woman was stabbed multiple times about the face and chest in similar fashion to Cheri Jo Bates. She had also received injuries to her breast and buttocks.
Her body was discovered near Agua Mansa Road, only five miles from Riverside City College library.
'Another gruesome case began on December 11, 1986, when the half-clothed body of Charlotte Jean Palmer, 24, of Anna, Illinois was found near Highway 74 and Matthews Road in Romoland. County coroners were unable to determine the cause of her death, because of the rapidity of putrefaction. Fear and panic spread as more and more women began mysteriously disappearing. Over a period of five years, from 1986 to 1991, nineteen prostitutes were found murdered - at least three of the Riverside County victims had their breasts severed. A forensic pathologist noted that cutting off female breasts was a way in which serial killers can uniquely hurt and harm the females they loathe'. Murderpedia. Please visit Murderpedia for the full list of victims.
On the 25th anniversary of the murder of Cheri Jo Bates, on October 30th 1991, the nude body of Delliah Zamora Wallace was discovered in Granite Hill Drive, Mira Loma.
Could the October 30th 1966 murder of Cheri Jo Bates have been an attempted abduction by William Lester Suff from the Riverside City College library, with the intention of killing her elsewhere, not unlike his later victims. This may have been one of his earliest crimes, exhibiting the inexperience he would later refine.
Many Zodiac forum threads and articles have discussed the possibility of 19 underscores on the 'Confession' letter introduction, where apparently the killer had left his name blank after typing the word BY. Below, I have placed William Lester Suff into the 'Confession' letter introduction and used parts of the Bates letters.
University Avenue, Riverside is less than one mile from Terracina Drive.