However, in the 'Confession' and Bates letters, just 2 to 3 years earlier, the author seemed to be relishing in the pain and misery he inflicted on Cheri Jo Bates and her family.
With statements such as "I said it was about time for her to die, she squirmed and shook as I chocked her and her lips twiched, and I then finished the job out cutting her throat," it had all the hallmarks of a killer who enjoyed reliving the events of that night, as well as exacerbating the heartbreak and suffering felt by family and friends. The author, not only named his victim in both letters, something the Zodiac Killer always steered away from, but he also mailed a letter to the father of the victim, Joseph Bates.
The addresses of the victims in the Zodiac crimes were routinely published in the newspapers, yet the Bay Area murderer failed to make contact with any of the victims families through mailed correspondence. The killer seemed to almost depersonalize the victims, only referring to them as kids, teenagers, boy, girl, woman, man, taxicab driver and people. When it came to his adversaries such as newspaper reporters, columnists, attorneys and police, then he had little problem naming Paul Avery, Marc H Spinelli, Herb Caen, Melvin Belli and David Toschi (depending on the validity of the correspondence).
Were the crimes simply his requirement to be taken seriously, so he could begin his letter writing campaign? In other words, they were not his primary focus, and why the attacks apparently ended after only 10 months.
The 'Confession' letter is altogether different, referencing lying awake thinking about beautiful women, stating "Her breast felt very warm and firm under my hands, her lips twiched, keep your sisters, daughters and wives off the streets and alleys, I shall cut off her female parts and deposit them for the whole city to see and I am stalking your girls now."
The emphasis of the letter is based solely on women, not couples, men or children. It also has a sexual component, not particularly evident in the Zodiac letters.
On March 13th 1971 the Zodiac Killer part-indicated his involvement in the Riverside murder of Cheri Jo Bates, but even then he couldn't refer to her by name - something he supposedly had no problem doing in both the Riverside correspondences a few years earlier. So, was the Riverside murderer really the Zodiac Killer?