Cheri Jo Bates was believed to have been lured to her death after the killer or killers had sabotaged her car outside the Riverside City College Library, suggesting she was specifically targeted. But it was the sheer ferocity of the attack with a short bladed instrument, that has led some away from the idea this was the work of the Zodiac Killer. The sheer nature of this despicable murder has been labelled a 'crime of passion', a phrase that has always left an uncomfortable taste in the mouth, bearing in mind the brutality and callousness of the attack - and passion has no place anywhere near this crime.
One of the more recent detectives charged with the Cheri Jo Bates case is Steve Shumway of the Riverside Police Department. He does not believe in a link to the Zodiac murders, as have many from the Riverside task force before him, despite the Confession Letter, Bates Letters and the Riverside Desktop Poem.
This crime had the hallmarks of a personal nature, in that she appeared to have been led at least 200 yards into a driveway, between two vacant properties belonging to the school. The suggestion being that she knew or trusted the person enough, that no harm would come to her. However, due to the complete absence of any eyewitnesses on that fateful night, only conjecture remains.
We are now approaching the 48th anniversary of the Cheri Jo Bates murder, and the family and friends of Cheri Jo Bates deserve an answer. Several likely suspects have been ruled out down the years, but there is still hope that a resolution can be found, with viable DNA having been retrieved from the scene of the crime in this case.
Recently I was contacted by somebody called 'Ace', who was reaching out for help with a discovery he had made in the August or September of 2006. A Riverside City College tablet from 1966/7 with the name Bates, Cheri at the top and a fingernail and hair embedded in the cover. He stated he has tried to contact the RCC Alum Association to verify if what he had found had any significance, and could help move the case forward in any way, but it appears to have failed to initiate a response from the relevant authorities.
The first fifteen pages of the tablet contained homework, mostly graded. Each page had a large paragraph with a diagram beneath the problem question. The owner of the tablet had also apparently scribed the lines for the printing themselves.
He is reluctant to divulge the exact location of his find, as he believes the satchel may have been placed there only hours, or even minutes before he discovered it, and the person may still have been in the vicinity. He viewed its contents for 5-7 minutes before he put them back as he found them - before leaving the scene. The site location is somewhere along the Blue River Parkway in South Kansas City, shown in this video entitled 'Blue River Parkway-Stage 1' on Youtube. Blue River Parkway is located approximately 1600 miles from Riverside County. View on Google Maps.
He has supplied me with a crude sketch of the tablet and is now recruiting the assistance of an artist to create a better representation or likeness, and is seeking help from the RCC Alum Association for their expertise in verifying or negating the validity of the drawing, and therefore the additional contents of the satchel.
The Cheri Jo Bates case seems the most likely of all the unsolved cases linked to the Zodiac Killer to possibly reach a conclusion, as the killer may have been known to the victim. Let us hope the answer is not far away.
Below 'Ace' has designed a representation of the said items and outlined some small changes.