Betsy Aardsma (July 1947-November 1969) was killed by a single knife wound to the heart in the campus library of Pennsylvania State University by an unknown assailant or assailants, between 4:30 pm and 4:45 pm on November 28th 1969. A desk clerk was alerted by somebody shortly after the stabbing, pleading "Somebody better help that girl". But help came too late for the young woman, who was critically wounded and pronounced dead upon her arrival at the hospital.
This case still remains active to this day, with the Pennsylvania Police Department seeking fresh information to shed new light on the long search for justice. Some Zodiac Killer enthusiasts have put forward the notion that this crime may have been the work of the notorious Bay Area murderer, despite the fact that little binds the two cases.
The Confession Letter, mailed almost three years prior to Betsy Aardsma's death, was received by the Riverside Police Department and Riverside Enterprise on November 29th 1966. This, along with the Joan Webster disappearance on November 28th 1981, have both been used to forge tenuous links to the Zodiac case with respect to the dates. http://joanwebstermurder.yolasite.com/
There are some similarities between the Betsy Aardsma murder and the Riverside knife slaying of Cheri Jo Bates, in that both women were young college students with an independent mind and both were killed while visiting the library, with one attack taking place inside the library and the other in an alleyway beside the library.
There have been many suspects in the murder of Betsy Aardsma, including prime suspect Richard Haefner, but never enough tangible evidence has ever emerged to bring the perpetrator to justice. Betsy Aardsma had been attacked in the campus library between 4:30 pm and 4:45 pm, with one single but fatal knife wound to the heart, believed to be from a hunting knife 3 to 4 inches in length. When she was initially discovered the true extent of her injuries were not apparent because her heart wound had bled into her lungs, with any residual blood having been masked by her choice of attire - a red dress. She lay on the floor between rows 50 to 51, with books scattered on the floor beside her, apparently dragged from the shelves as she fell to the ground. No weapon was ever retrieved and the killer had escaped almost unnoticed, but for the eyewitness who claimed that the person they saw running away was the one who stated "somebody better help that girl". A sketch of the man created from eyewitness accounts was distributed. Some say it bore an uncanny resemblance to prime suspect Richard Haefner (see images on right).
Despite the continuing links suggested to the Zodiac crimes, this murder falls short on a number of issues, namely, the Zodiac attacks tended to be committed in isolated retreats with limited possibility of capture, such as Lake Herman Road, Blue Rock Springs Park and Lake Berryessa. The only confirmed deviation to this was the taxicab murder of Paul Stine in Presidio Heights on October 11th 1969. Betsy Aardsma was killed in the daytime hours at approximately 4:45 pm in extremely high risk surroundings. Although the Zodiac Killer would often claim to be responsible for more killings than could be accounted for, no reference to this crime was evident in any of his subsequent correspondence.
A highly controversial letter mailed in 1978, alleging it was from the Zodiac Killer, began with the words "This is the Zodiac speaking I am back with you". On November 28th 1994, exactly 25 years after the Betsy Aardsma murder, an employee of the library found a candle had been lit and placed in the location of the murder, along with some contemporary newspaper clippings of her murder. A message written on the floor using a red marker pen read "RIP Betsy Aardsma, born July 11th 1947, died November 28th 1969. I'm back."
Another memorial in similar bad taste, again with strewn newspaper clippings, was discovered near the 30th anniversary of her death in 1999. Additionally, a postcard had been mailed to police sometime in 1977, postmarked Atlanta and with the wording "You never did catch the guy who killed that cunt in the library". But these were considered malicious hoaxes - and not thought to have been authored by the killer of Betsy Aardsma..
19th August 1956-28th November 1981)
Joan Lucinda Webster, a 25-year-old Harvard graduate, disappeared after her arrival at Boston's Logan International Airport on 28th November 1981, and her remains were discovered nearly nine years later in April 1990 in Hamilton, Massachusetts.
The cause of her death remains undetermined and nobody has been charged with her supposed abduction and murder. The case is constantly kept alive by determined individuals keen for a resolution to this forty-two year old murder mystery. http://joanwebstermurder.yolasite.com/
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